WASHINGTON, D.C., February 22, 2023 — U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.), ranking member of the Homeland Security subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, along with Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and a bipartisan group of 11 of their Senate colleagues, recently wrote a letter to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai urging them to take action against the unsustainable surge of Mexican steel imports.
In addition to raising grave concerns in America’s steel industry and in steel communities such as those in Alabama, this surge is also in violation of a 2019 agreement between the United States and Mexico. The letter contends that the United States deserves, and should demand, fair treatment from all trading partners, including its friends.
“We urge the Biden administration to immediately begin consultations under the 2019 agreement to address this surge of Mexican steel and return imports to ‘historic volumes of trade,’ with quotas, if necessary,” the Senators wrote. “However, if the Mexican government refuses to remedy this breach, we regretfully urge the administration to consider other mechanisms to ensure compliance and protect American jobs, including the reapplication of Section 232 tariffs.”
“The Administration has a responsibility to strongly enforce trade agreements to ensure fairness for hardworking Americans,” said U.S. Senator Katie Britt. “This unprecedented, unacceptable surge in Mexican steel imports is endangering good-paying Alabama jobs and negatively impacting communities across our nation. Additionally, our domestic iron and steel industry is critical for our national security. I will continue to fight to grow opportunities for families in every corner of Alabama and America, while keeping our homeland safe and strong.”
Alabama’s iron and steel industry, which is an original economic engine for the state and remains vibrant today, directly supports approximately 15,000 jobs and indirectly supports more than 76,000 jobs, including subcontractors and suppliers. The average annual Alabama wage in the industry is nearly $100,000. The creation of two Alabama iron and steel industry jobs also creates 10 jobs throughout the supply chain.
Joining Senators Britt and Cotton in signing the letter were Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and J.D. Vance (R-Ohio).
The full text of the letter may be found here.
Senator Britt is also a member of the National Security and International Trade and Finance Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.