Press Release - Oct 01, 2012

Former Gov. Tom Ridge and PA Steel Alliance Present Report Showing U.S. Reliance on Foreign Suppliers

The report is the first comprehensive analysis of America’s growing dependence on global suppliers

Monday, Oct. 1, 2012

HARRISBURG — Former Governor Tom Ridge and Colonel Robert B. Stephan (USAF-Ret) today joined the PA Steel Alliance in discussing a groundbreaking report that describes the United States’ need to revitalize its manufacturing capacity and reduce its risks of vulnerability due to reliance on foreign suppliers. The report cites the U.S. as being under-prepared for serious emergencies because of the offshoring of critical manufacturing capabilities.

“Revitalizing America’s domestic manufacturing base starts with the steel industry. Pennsylvania has a long history of producing quality steel products that can compete in the global market,” said Ridge, the former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “We need to continue producing these products that help prevent, mitigate, recover from, and rebuild quickly in the wake of catastrophic events. This is an urgent national priority.”

The study determined that a strong and viable steel industry is an essential component of our national and economic security and national preparedness, and that steel plays a critical role in nearly all aspects of domestic manufacturing. Erosion of America’s steelmaking capacity represents a significant risk to our national and economic security and national preparedness.

In the analysis, Governor Ridge and Colonel Stephan, a former Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection, took an in-depth look at recent disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the Japanese Earthquake and Fukishima Nuclear Reactor Disaster of 2011. Also included in the study was the importance of the steel manufacturing sector, which is critical to disaster preparedness and recovery efforts.

“Our message to all levels of government and industry leaders is that we are heavily dependent upon global suppliers, and thus, in time of domestic crisis, our ability to respond and recover, quickly and effectively, will be negatively impacted by such reliance.,” said Colonel Stephan. “Thanks to the PA Steel Alliance, this message is being promoted within the steel industry in Pennsylvania.”

The report, which was recently released by the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), makes a number of key recommendations designed to rejuvenate the American manufacturing sector. The report urges officials to take steps to ensure that we are not caught off guard or left vulnerable at a time when quick response and rapid rebuilding are necessary.

Among these specific recommendations are:
  • Develop a plan to make the restoration of a strong American manufacturing sector a key component of both national and economic security strategies.
  • Reinvest in America’s infrastructure, using U.S.-made materials.
  • Incentivize the revitalization of American manufacturing, including the use of domestic-content preferences that maximize the power of federal procurement funds.
  • Enforce trade laws to ensure a level playing field for U.S. manufacturers and their workers facing unfair competition.
  • Invest in the American workforce to ensure we have the trained workers needed to rebuild our infrastructure and work in a larger, more modern manufacturing sector.

To view the entire study, please go to www.americanmanufacturing.org

The Pennsylvania Steel Alliance is an initiative of Pennsylvania’s steel companies and labor unions, created to educate the public and elected officials about the impact of the steel industry and policy issues affecting its growth.