Many of our steel workers are losing their jobs as more and more cheap steel gets imported from China. As a result of this unfair practice of “steel dumping,” more than 600 people lost their jobs during the AK Steel layoffs in December when the aforementioned company had to shut down its blast furnace.
Sen. Rand Paul spoke in front of concerned citizens gathered at the Ashland Transportation Center in March to talk about the AK Steel layoffs. One proposal up for discussion was whether imposing higher tariffs on imported steel would help prevent the rise of steel dumping.
Paul, who worked closely with legislators following the layoffs at the Ashland Works plant last year, told the Daily Independent after the meeting that one way to help corporations like AK Steel would be to have lower corporate income taxes. Right now, the income tax rate in the U.S. is as high as 35%, which is significantly higher than, for example, Canada’s 15%.
The Republican Senator also offered help to several steelworkers who were present at the meeting with filing complaints to the Trade Adjustment Assistance. The TAA is a program specifically created to aid workers who have lost their jobs because of international trade.
Shortly after the town hall meeting, the U.S. Department of Labor made an announcement, granting the TAA program eligibility to the laid off staff at AK Steel’s Ashland Works plant.
In his own statement, Rand Paul welcomed the Department’s decision:
“After making several official inquiries on behalf of the unemployed workers and families in the Ashland community, I am extremely pleased to hear of the Department of Labor’s decision to grant AK Steel’s Ashland Works plant eligibility to obtain TAA benefits and services. I made a commitment to the community to monitor this situation and aid in any way possible, and will continue to do so.”
Should we be more concerned about the effects that “steel dumping” is having on American jobs? Share your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to visit our Facebook and Twitter pages for more news about Rand Paul.
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