Burns implores Biden to retain Trump tariffs on foreign steel

Urges bipartisanship in fight against unfair trade

EBENSBURG, March 5 – Moving quickly to preserve a federal assist that aids U.S. manufacturing, state Rep. Frank Burns has asked President Joe Biden to extend tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum imposed by former President Donald Trump in 2018.

Burns, D-Cambria, outlined the importance of maintaining the tariffs – which are backed by the United Steel Workers and the domestic steel industry – in a written request to Biden, stressing the chance for bipartisan cooperation early in his tenure.

“Western Pennsylvania families have been hurting for decades as good-paying steel and manufacturing jobs disappeared or were shipped overseas as a result of unfair and, in many cases, government-subsidized, competition,” Burns told the president. “I supported these tariffs under President Trump – and I will continue supporting them with equal vigor under the Biden administration.”

Burns has long championed measures to give a domestic steel industry battered by unfair trade a fighting chance for survival and economic rebound. He has authored a three-bill “American Made Jobs Plan” that would, among other things, require use of U.S.-made steel in all underground pipeline projects – and use of American-made products in any construction project that receives taxpayer funding.

Burns said he believes this issue should transcend the divisive party politics that too often result in gridlock, because what’s at stake are good-paying jobs and maintaining a critical industry as a matter of national security.

“We must set political affiliation aside and come together on issues that affect us as Americans,” Burns wrote.