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Schumer calls for action to fight 'steel surge'

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) visits steel workers at Nucor in Auburn.
Jessica Cain
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) visits steel workers at Nucor in Auburn.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is calling for the Biden administration to “strike while the iron is hot” to crack down on China’s trade practices.

Schumer visited Nucor in Auburn Monday to show his support for local steel workers, and he pledged to fight to ensure the U.S. gets its steel from American manufacturers.

“Our workers are better worker for worker, person for person,” said Schumer. “Our steel mills are better pound for pound. But when China plays unfair, we get stuck.”

Schumer said the Biden Administration is tripling the existing tariff rate on Chinese steel and aluminum imports, but he said more needs to be done to close a loophole that allows Chinese products to enter the U.S. through Mexico.

Nucor Executive Vice President Randy Spicer spoke about the quality of American steel, adding Nucor makes steel using 97 percent recycled content.

“The bottom line is, the more that we keep out the unfairly traded imports, the cleaner the steel is that we would use right here in America,” Spicer said.

He said supporting American industry creates capital investment, including building new steel mills, modernizing existing ones, and creating thousands of jobs.

Auburn Mayor Jimmy Giannettino spoke about being the son of an Auburn steel worker.

“I want to acknowledge President Biden, Majority Leader Schumer for doing their part to make sure that Nucor stays here in Auburn and provides those jobs for generations of Auburnians,” he said.

Schumer said he hopes the tariffs also benefit other local companies including Crucible Steel in Syracuse and Novelis in Oswego.

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.