New policies will grow America

DEAR EDITOR:

During the 1920s, our region was second only to Pittsburgh in the quantity of steel production. We’ve seen good times and hard times, but we’ve always persevered. The Youngstown-Warren area has seen recent economic revitalization and we at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber believe the current proposed Buy America policies will continue our progress.

The Buy American policy is simple: our tax dollars are spent on public projects in our own communities, not being sent to another country. Our businesses provide quality goods here at home and our government should be purchasing them, as well as encouraging private businesses to do the same. These policies encourage homegrown economic activity.

The Chinese steel industry holds approximately 50 percent of the entire market, a 40 percent jump in 15 years. This didn’t happen overnight.

Cheap lines of credit, preferential tax treatment, an artificially cheap currency and sometimes direct subsidies from the Chinese government have created the rampant steel industry that now exists. Due to these tactics, China “dumps” their steel into America at costs far cheaper than American companies can produce. Eventually it gets to be too much, and our neighbors must close their company doors for good.

Our government needs to make trade enforcement a top priority to ensure that hardworking Americans are no longer victimized by predatory, mercantilist governments like China. We were pleased to see the Department of Commerce taking this issue seriously with their investigations into Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which is reviewing whether imports of steel and aluminum are negatively impacting U.S. economic national security. We here in Youngstown are certainly seeing this effect, and we hope the government also does.

Investigations into trade policy, as well as policy goals like Buy American, are fantastic steps being taken to ensure the strength of American industry. Not only is China dumping their steel into our country, but in turn, that means we’re dumping our money into their economy. Let’s stop playing by their rules and make our own.

DAVID DEIBEL

President, Boardman Steel

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