Three top executives from US steel industry presented their case before Congressmen from steel producing states. Mario Longhi, president and chief executive officer of United States Steel Corporation, John Ferriola, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Nucor Corporation; and, Mike Rippey, chairman of the Board of Directors of AISI and chairman of ArcelorMittal USA called for dramatic change in government policy to boost growth of steel and other manufacturing sectors in the country. According to them, the domestic steel industry continues to face challenges from unfairly imported products.
Mario Longhi highlighted the adverse impacts of illegal trade practices on US domestic steel industry. The uncontrolled dumping of products from other steel producing nations into the US has forced many mills across the country to idle their operations. Plants are being shut down and hundreds of workers are being laid off.
According to Ferriola, the blind support extended by respective countries to their steel producers has resulted in supply glut. These steel products are being dumped in the US market, in violation of international trade rules. Estimates indicate that almost one-third of the steel sold in the US are from other countries. Many of these countries follow inferior safety practices and environmental standards. He urged Congressmen to act tough against countries that fail to maintain international standards.
Rippey emphasized on the need for the country to make major investment in industry workforce and infrastructure. The average age of steel industry workforce now stands at 50. Nearly 500 retirements per year are expected during the next five years. The government should invest in programs such as STEM education to attract young engineering talents to choose steel and other manufacturing sectors as their career path.