U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who has led a three-year fight against protective tariffs on steel used in the production of automobiles, said today’s decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to end costly tariffs on corrosion resistant steel imported from four of the six countries under review means that “tens of thousands of American auto jobs will stay in this country instead of going overseas.
“It doesn’t make sense to protect a few steel jobs at the expense of tens of thousands of auto jobs,” Alexander said. “I wish the commission had gone farther, but I’m encouraged by today’s decision because it means more good paying auto jobs will stay here instead of moving overseas.”
On Sept. 30, Alexander authored a letter, signed by 10 United States Senators, urging the ITC to repeal the current antidumping and countervailing duty orders on certain corrosion resistant carbon flat steel products from several countries.
The combined value of transportation equipment manufacturing in the state exceeds $6 billion according to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, and more than 150,000 Tennesseans are employed by the auto industry.
In East Tennessee this includes more than 2,000 employees at Denso Manufacturing in Maryville and more than 700 employees at Tennessee Koyo Steering Systems in Monroe County. (Source: Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.)
In Middle Tennessee this includes more than 7,000 employees at Saturn in Spring Hill and 5,000 employees at Nissan in Smyrna. (Source: Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.)
In West Tennessee this includes more than 1,000 employees at Lunati Cams in Memphis and more than 1,000 at Siebel-Robert in Lauderdale County. (Source: Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.)
In July of 2003, Alexander called on President Bush to reverse steel tariffs he had instituted in 2002 citing their potential negative effect on the growth of the automobile industry. Alexander worked closely with Vice President Cheney, and others, and President Bush lifted those tariffs later that year.