USW Backs Biden’s Worker-Centered Trade Policy as President Visits Union Headquarters

For Immediate Release: April 17, 2024

Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, 

(PITTSBURGH) – Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) today proudly welcomed President Joe Biden to the union’s International Headquarters as he announced a series of aggressive steps his administration is taking to further ensure U.S. trade policy supports workers and their communities.

This included Biden’s announcement that his administration is initiating an investigation of Chinese commercial shipbuilding in response to the Section 301 petition the USW and four other labor organizations filed last month. 

“A robust commercial shipbuilding industry is necessary for meeting our national defense and economic security needs, but unfortunately, our domestic capacity has withered as a result of China’s non-market policies,” said USW International President David McCall. “We’re grateful that the president is taking this threat seriously and pursuing a full investigation.”

Biden further announced that he is calling on the U.S. trade representative (USTR) to triple tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum to help curb global overcapacity, as well as pushing Mexico to address the surge of Chinese and other foreign-made steel and aluminum that is entering the United States over its Southern border.

He also reiterated his position that U.S. Steel should remain domestically owned and operated, rather than allowing it to be sold to Japanese-owned Nippon Steel.

“Tens of thousands of good, union jobs hang in the balance as a result of illegal trade practices and corporate greed,” McCall said. “We’re grateful that President Biden is continuing to take bold action to ensure a level playing field for American workers.”

Ultimately, McCall said, a truly worker-centered trade policy goes beyond short-term fixes to include ongoing strategic investments to build out the nation’s supply chains and manufacturing base.

“By combining a firm stance on unfair trade with the work the administration has done on infrastructure, clean technology, microchips and more, President Biden is ensuring U.S. global competitiveness and widespread prosperity well into the future,” McCall said.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.


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