This week we called on the EPA to reject three proposed rules that would hurt Ohio steelworkers and steel manufacturers.
For too long, bad policy and unfair foreign competition have hurt steel towns across Ohio and the businesses and workers who built our economy.
We fought for and won an historic victory for Ohio steelworkers with our Buy America protections in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that will require every federal project to use American steel.
We’re bringing steel production back where it belongs – to America and Ohio. We can’t undermine that progress now.
That’s why I’m leading a bipartisan group of my colleagues to call on the EPA to reject and overhaul their proposed rules limiting steel emissions.
The rules would dramatically undermine the domestic steel industry and national security, driving production overseas. If the EPA moves forward with them as currently written, these rules would force American companies to spend billions to keep up with the new standards that were created without any input from the steel industry or from steelworkers.
Ohio steel is already forced to compete with unfairly-subsidized Chinese steel. If the Ohio steel industry is forced to incur these additional costs, it will only make it harder for American steel to stay competitive and could send even more Ohio steel jobs overseas.
These rules are bad for Ohio companies, bad for national security, and could even be worse for the environment.
We know China will keep polluting no matter what we do. Less domestic production will lead to more pollution coming from China and other foreign competitors.
The EPA needs to start over, and work with American stakeholders like labor and the steel industry to write new, technically-sound rules that reduce emissions without hurting American competitiveness. There’s opportunity to find a solution that works for everyone.
Ohio steel companies already have to compete with foreign companies that cheat and don’t have to follow environmental rules. We need to have their backs, and stop these proposed rules from making it even harder.
Sherrod Brown is the senior U.S. senator from Ohio.