A recently released study titled, “Economic Impacts of the American Steel Industry,” conducted by Dr. Timothy J. Considine, SER Professor of Energy Economics at the University of Wyoming reveals that the U.S. steel industry is helping lead our nation’s manufacturing post-recession resurgence by supporting more than one million U.S. jobs and adding billions of dollars to the economy.
Dr. Considine points out that, “Since steel is the most prevalent material in our economy, the steel industry is highly interrelated with other economic sectors, as reflected in the ripple effect on employment.” In order to continue the revival of our nation’s manufacturing sector, we must continue to be proactive in these three issue areas: transportation, trade and energy.
We must make rebuilding our crumbling transportation infrastructure system a top national priority. It is essential to be able to do business efficiently within our own borders in order to maintain our dominant role in the global economy. We urge Congress to pass a multi-year, fully funded surface transportation bill before the current extension expires later this month.
Secondly, it is critical that the Obama Administration and Congress continue to pressure foreign governments that continue to artificially undervalue its currency. We cannot give a free pass to countries that flagrantly disregard their World Trade Organization commitments.
Lastly, we must develop our domestic energy sources, both on- and off-shore. By developing our natural gas and oil reserves, our nation can lessen its dependency on foreign oil, create thousands of jobs and spur economic growth. However, one of the biggest threats to developing our nation’s domestic energy sources is overly burdensome and misguided federal regulations. Excessive and misguided regulations could stifle the burgeoning manufacturing renaissance that the steel industry is leading.
As the report reaffirms, our nation’s steel industry, which operates over 100 facilities, is helping drive this post-recession manufacturing Renaissance. Yet, our success could be impeded by inaction in these three crucial policy areas. We must work together to ensure that our manufacturing sector will be able to continue to thrive.
-AISI President and CEO Thomas J. Gibson