While “U.S. Icons Now Made Of Chinese Steel,” Wall Street Journal, June 20, accurately depicts the ramifications of subsidized Chinese competition to our strategic steel fabrication industry, the author fails to address methods by which we can commit to re-build its capacity. Rather than abandon the U.S. steel and fabrication market for cheap labor, untested Chinese products, and the insecurity of that supply chain; the commitment to the use of U.S.-produced steel and fabrication to rebuild our 20,000 failed bridges and aging infrastructure will expand and modernize our native capacity with private capital. In the process, they will create jobs, providing a shot in the arm to the U.S. economy that far outweighs any perceived savings from Chinese purchases. Perhaps most importantly, while the author references “price” six times, not once does he mention value. A $600 million bridge project fabricated by U.S.-based firms and U.S. workers will yield a huge local economic impact. The same project secured by the Chinese bidder at $500 million, while cheaper, produces an economic boost in China, not here at home where our economy is still struggling to produce jobs. The “price” of Chinese steel may be low, but the value to American families is nonexistent.
-Walter Wise, General President, Iron Workers Union