Reps. Crawford and Bost to Co-Chair Steel Caucus

Written by Sandy Williams

Two representatives of steel intensive regions will co-chair the Congressional Steel Caucus, Representatives Rick Crawford (R-AR) and Mike Bost (R-IL).

Crawford’s 1st Congressional District in Arkansas was a farming region three decades ago when the Caucus was founded. Today, it hosts Nucor-Steel Yamato, Nucor Steel Arkansas and Big River Steel, making it the second largest steel-producing congressional district in the U.S.

“Steel isn’t a product that we can depend on other nations to produce for us. Critical to our country’s infrastructure, military, and economy as a whole, a strong domestic steel industry is a national security imperative that also provides excellent opportunities for people across the country living largely in rural areas like my district,” said Crawford.

In a comment to Arkansas Online, Crawford said his selection is an acknowledgement that the industry is changing.

“I think what you’re seeing is sort of a geographic shift in the center of steel production. Where it’s historically been in the Rust Belt, now … we’re starting to see the steel industry move south, so having that seat at the table’s important for us,” he said.

Congressman Bost represents the 12th District of Illinois, home to U.S. Steel Granite City and numerous steel fabricators.

“Steel is a backbone of the U.S. economy, generating 10,000 jobs in Illinois and nearly 140,000 nationwide,” said Bost in a press release. “But these jobs are at risk due to global competitors who refuse to play by the rules. That’s why I’ve led the charge to strengthen our trade remedy laws and better ensure proper application of ‘Buy American’ preference laws, ensuring U.S. companies and workers have the tools to preserve jobs here at home.”

The announcement was applauded by leadership from the American Iron and Steel Institute and Steel Manufacturers Association.

Tracy Porter, Executive Vice President of Commercial Metals Company and current SMA Chairman said, “Mr. Crawford represents the 2nd most steel-producing Congressional district in the United States. His ascendancy to this important leadership role represents the ongoing transformation of a steel industry that is more geographically diverse and is increasingly dominated by Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) steel producers.”

Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI said, “Congressman Bost has been a leader in the fight to level the playing field for domestic steelmakers. He lead the effort to enact the first improvements to our trade laws in more than 20 years, and has consistently stood up for American workers whose jobs are put at risk by global competitors who skirt trade laws. His long-standing commitment and dedication to steel has been key in promoting more fair competition for the American steel industry.”

Pete Visclosky (D-IN) will serve as vice chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus.

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