WARREN - Democratic leaders from Ohio on Monday renewed their push for stronger trade laws and enforcement that could help Ohio's steel industry.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, visited Wheatland Tube here to meet with workers and release a new report on manufacturing jobs.
"Legislation is necessary to fight back against China's unfair currency manipulation, and it has enjoyed broad bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, but the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act has languished in the U.S. House for months," Brown said.
The reform act would punish China when it cheats trade laws by manipulating its currency. The legislation passed the Senate in October 2011, but has remained stalled in the House.
A report released by Brown and Ryan outlining investments and jobs in the steel pipe and tubing industry since 2008 showed investments of more than $2.4 billion and more than 900 new jobs in the industry locally, including investments at Youngstown's V&M Star, TMK IPSCO of Brookfield, U.S. Steel in Lorain and Wheatland Tube in Warren.
In December 2009 and September 2010, Brown and Ryan testified before the International Trade Commission on behalf of Ohio steelworkers. The ITC's ruling in the December 2009 case led to a border measure on imports to support these domestic producers of steel pipe. By addressing illegal Chinese trade practices, this decision helped increase demand for domestic production.
Figures released last month show the U.S. trade deficit growing to $42 billion in July, up 0.2 percent from June. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, the trade deficit with China grew to $29.4 billion, an increase of 7.2 percent; imports from China rose 5.6 percent.
According to a recent report released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the trade deficit with China cost Ohio 95,500 jobs between 2001 and 2011. As a whole, the U.S. lost more than 2.7 million jobs as a result of the U.S.-China trade deficit.