Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Subjugation in Steel

One cost of freedom is steel. To remain independent, America must maintain its own vibrant steel industry.

Steel is essential to make munitions, armor plate, aircraft carriers, submarines and fighter jets, as well as the roads and bridges on which these armaments are transported, the electrical grid that powers the factories where they are produced, the municipal water systems that supply manufacturers, even the computers that aid industrial innovation.

If America imports that steel, it becomes a vassal to the producing countries. It would be victim to the whims of countries that certainly don’t have America’s interests in mind when they act. In the case of China, the attempt to subjugate is deliberate. Beijing intentionally overproduces, repeatedly promises to cut back while it actually increases capacity, then exports its excess, state-subsidized steel at below-market costs. This slashes the international price, which, in turn, bankrupts steelmakers in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Spain and elsewhere. Then, China dominates.

To his credit, President Donald Trump has said America can’t be great without the ability to make its own steel. He ordered the Commerce Department to investigate the extent to which steel imports threaten national security. Commerce officials are scheduled to brief Senate committees on the inquiry today. That’s because they’re being second guessed by a handful of federal officials, exporters and corporations whose only concern is profit, not patriotism. To protect national security, American steel and family-supporting jobs, the administration must stand strong against foreign unfair trade in steel that kills American jobs and creates American dependency. 

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We Finally Know What’s Going to be in the Senate Version of Trumpcare — and It’s Not Pretty

Judd Legum

Judd Legum Editor-in-Chief, Think Progress

For weeks, Senate Republicans have negotiated their version of Trumpcare in near total secrecy. There have been no public hearings — just private meetings among a select group of Republicans about a bill that could reshape one-sixth of the American economy. For many Americans, the contours of the bill could be a matter of life and death.

Text of the bill was released on Thursday, but key details began to leak Wednesday night (some from lobbyists who learned about the bill before the American people). Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is insisting on a vote before the July 4th holiday, which means everyone has a week to learn about this bill — including many of the senators who will be voting on it.

So let’s get started. Here are the most important things you need to know.

The bill would strip health care coverage from millions of low income Americans by rolling back the expansion of Medicaid — and then making even deeper cuts.

The core of the Senate bill, like the House version, is a massive cut to Medicaid, which millions of low income Americans rely on for health care coverage. The Senate bill will reportedly phase out the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, although the process won’t start until 2021. In the end, the impact is the same. The Congressional Budget Office found that rolling back Medicaid expansion would cost 14 million people their health insurance.

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Thousands Tell President Trump to Safeguard American-made Steel and Aluminum

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch Digital Media Director, Alliance for American Manufacturing

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Monday that the Commerce Department “should” release the findings of its national security investigation into steel imports “later this week.”

But barring an unexpected Friday afternoon news dump, it looks like we’re going to have to wait a little longer to see what recommendations the department will have for President Trump in the Section 232 investigation.

In the meantime, Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) supporters are making their voices heard. Nearly 4,000 people already have written to President Trump and their Members of Congress to urge them to “utilize all available tools — including the Section 232 remedy — to protect America’s economic and national security.”

And on Friday, AAM ran a full-page ad in the Washington Post thanking the president for his promise to stand with American steelworkers — and urging him to deliver a comprehensive Section 232 action.

As U.S. Army Brigadier Gen. John Adams (Ret.) outlined to AAM supporters earlier this week, dumped steel and aluminum imports from countries like Russia and China are putting America at risk.

We need both steel and aluminum for both our national defense needs and our critical infrastructure. But dumped imports from China and Russia have led to dozens of plant closures and tens of thousands of layoffs. Entire industries are threatened.

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Cutting Insurance from Working Families to Give Tax Cuts to Millionaires

By Alex Rowell and Ryan Erickson

Republican health care plans, including the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA), would repeal taxes on the wealthy, including the Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT)—a tax on combined capital gain, dividend, and interest income applicable to individuals making more than $200,000 or couples filing jointly making more than $250,000 in adjusted gross income. This tax cut is paid for by eliminating health insurance coverage for millions of low- and moderate-income Americans. Approximately 90 percent of the benefit of repealing this tax goes to the top 1 percent of households.

Below is a table that shows estimates of the average tax cut for households earning more than $1,000,000 in annual adjusted gross income by state if proposals to eliminate the NIIT succeed.

At the same time, the House-passed bill would cause 23 million people to lose coverage by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The estimates below apportion the CBO estimate by state.

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Workforce Training is on the White House Agenda — But There’s Some Skepticism

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch Digital Media Director, Alliance for American Manufacturing

Last week, the White House was all about infrastructure (although that other big thing that happened grabbed most of the attention).

This week, the White House is all about workforce development. President Trump is scheduled to travel to a technical college in Wisconsin on Tuesday to promote the effort, while first daughter/adviser Ivanka Trump will lead a roundtable discussion with chief executives on Wednesday. The president also is expected to give a big policy speech on job training that day, and father and daughter will gather for a roundtable discussion with governors on Thursday.

Ivanka Trump is really taking the lead on the whole thing. Here she is on Monday morning on Fox and Friends, talking up the plan:

Ivanka Trump’s appearance quickly made headlines, although not for any of the workforce training stuff. But Trump did spend a good amount of time talking about it, noting that the goal is to “really highlight that there is a viable path other than a four-year college experience.”

“Apprenticeships really, that’s the model,” she said. “It’s worked throughout the world, and it’s something we’ve de-emphasized here, in favor of four-year traditional college. But they don’t have to be mutually exclusive.”

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