Buy American and Hire American is one of the most used campaign promises used by Trump during his election next to “Make American Great Again”.
Buy American & hire American are the principles at the core of my agenda, which is: JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Thank you @exxonmobil.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 7, 2017
Both slogans were great but like a deal with Trump, American companies are left with empty pockets and American workers are left in the cold. After all, a good deal is one where you win and the other guy gets nothing, according to his book, the Art of the Deal.
Novolipetski Steel, also known as NLMK, one of four prominent steel companies in Russia, is currently flooding the market with…you guessed it.
According to the New York Daily News, NLMK is approximately providing 35,000 tons of steel to its U.S plants. One is located in Indiana and two are located in Pennsylvania.
Novolipetski Steel has pledged to bring in at least 1.5 million tons of Russian steel annually, with current promises of shipment increase to 2 million.
While the import has revitalized a Paulsboro port and create 100 local jobs, 10 leaders collectively took Trump on for failing to support the “Buy America” standard that covers tax-payer funded federal infrastructure projects.
Trump is currently lobbying a $1 trillion dollar investment but is also actively looking to overturn Ronald Reagan’s Buy American Act of 1983. The act requires that steel is melted and poured in the U.S. to qualify as American-made.
Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, reminded the president in a statement stating:
Our ‘Buy America’ laws are already riddled with loopholes, but they would all pale in comparison to allowing foreign steel to be used. The President should make it clear that Chinese, Russian, and other foreign steel does not qualify under ‘Buy America’ and won’t be used to rebuild America’s infrastructure. U.S. firms and American workers who actually produce steel are standing by waiting for the President to take strong action on ‘Buy America.”
If Trump manages to strip away the “melted and poured” requirement, companies such as NLMK will be able to compete for tax dollars used for public infrastructure.
It should be noted that NLMK has paid more than $200,000 last year into powerhouse D.C. lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs which has ties to the former Ohio Republican House Speaker John Boehner.
Vladimir Lisin, NLMK chairman, and largest shareholder is a known “crony” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Scott Paul echoed the sentiments of many Americans when he stated:
Saying their Russian steel is American-made is like importing a foreign car, putting windshield wipers on it here, and then telling everyone that it’s American-made. It’s ludicrous!”
Trump, your current relationship with Russia is worrisome as they do not have a history of playing nice with the United States. Depending on them as a source for steel or any other product is asking to bow down and kiss the Putin ring.
You may have done it, sir, but most Americans, conservative or liberal, do not deal that way.
Featured image via Getty/Chip Somedvilla