In the heat of this historic presidential election, the public has heard endless talk from candidates about rebuilding our national economy and our manufacturing sector. However, as the campaigns roar through the states, we in Pennsylvania have yet to receive any plans these candidates have to ensure that unfair trade does not destroy the core of this nation’s manufacturing sector, along with its workers and communities.
As a native of Mercer County, I am proud to call this area home and to be part of a multi-generational family that has dedicated itself to the U.S. steel-pipe and -tube industry. In the Sharon-Wheatland area, those of us at Wheatland Tube, a division of JMC Steel Group know the benefits that manufacturing brings to communities.
Our company, like many others in the region, provides good-wage jobs that help expand our economy, and we have done this for more than a century. During the course of history, our company has faced many challenges, including the onslaught of unfairly traded steel-pipe and -tube imports. Of course we are not alone, as we are part of the greater steel family, all of which is under attack.
Over the past decade, the manufacturing sector has lost more than 100,000 jobs in Pennsylvania. That is simply unacceptable — and in the case of steel-pipe and -tube, these losses have been attributed to unfairly traded imports.
Even in the current political climate, regardless of party affiliation, we all should agree that we have a problem. Those seeking higher elected office should do more; they should offer solutions. We at Wheatland believe it is time for them to step up and stand up for our industry.