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  President Trump Meets with Members of Congress on Trade  CSPAN  February 14, 2018 2:52am-3:56am EST

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the white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> president trump held a meeting with members of congress to discuss trade policies. the discussion centered around the president's goal of ensuring fair and reciprocal trade policies that benefit american workers and grow the economy. this meeting from the white house cabinet room is 50 minutes. >> they're on our side. they just can't say it. okay, thank you very much, i'm delighted to welcome both republicans and democrats, nice sound. isn't that a nice sound? and we won't be discussing daca. but there's plenty of discussion going on right now about daca
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from both the house and the senate. to the white house, we're here today to discuss a matter of violation importance to our nation's economy, and security, and i've been discussing it for years, and certainly discussed it in great detail on the campaign trail. that's america's aluminum and steel industries and many other industries where we are taken advantage of by other countries. i alluded to it yesterday too. last year i directed the secretary of commerce to investigate whether steel and aluminum imports are threatening to impair u.s. national security. you see what's happened with our steel and aluminum industries, they're being de-- dumping and destroying industry and destroying the pafamilies of workers. we can't let that happen. secretary ross admitted the result of the investigation, last month my administration is now reviewing the reports and
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considering all options. and part of the options would be tariffs coming in as they dump steel, they pay tariffs, substantial tariffs, which means the united states would actually make a lot of money. and probably our steel industry and our aluminum industry would come back into our country. right now it's dessimated. it will make a decision, and i will make a decision that reflects the best interests of the united states, needing to address overproduction in china and other countries. other countries are so overproducing and they're dumping it on us. look at empty steel factories and plants, and it's a very sad thing to look at. i've been looking at them for two years as i went around campaigning. no matter where you go, you look at them and see what happened to u.s. steel and these other companies. they were the giants, and now they're hanging on for their life. i look forward to hearing your views, and i'd like have some of
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you speak, you have strong views on this. i look at it two ways. i want to keep prices down, but i also want to make sure that we have a steel industry and an aluminum industry, and we do need that for national defense. if we ever have a conflict, we don't want to be buying the steel from a country that we're fighting. because somehow that doesn't work very well. but we hopefully won't have any conflicts, but we still have to consider that and we have to look at the national defense, we have to look at the steel industry. we cannot be without a steel industry, we cannot be without an aluminum industry. and so what we're talking about is tariffs and/or quotas. and i think maybe, roy, would you like to start? we've discussed over the past. do you have any suggestions? >> well, mr. president, i think we do need to be careful here that we don't start a reciprocal battle on tariffs. you know, we make aluminum and
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we make steel in missouri, but we buy a lot of aluminum and we buy a lot of steel as well. from bass boats to beer cans, a lot of aluminum out there. we got an aluminum manufacturer that closed down, but with special electric rates is reopening under new management. and so clearly we're concerned about those new jobs, but also concerned about all the jobs, whether it's in the electric steel area, or the aluminum area, very price sensitive here. >> good. and i understand that very well. one thing i just -- i do want to tell you, we just got this notice, general motors in korea announces the first step in necessary restructuring. they're going to gm korea company announced today it will cease production and close its plant in may of 2018. they're going to move back to detroit. you don't hear these things except for the fact that
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president trump became president. believe me, you wouldn't be hearing that. they're moving back from korea to detroit. you saw chrysler moving from mexico to michigan. and you have many other companies, all want to be where the action is, the big tax cuts had a big impact. kevin knows that better than anybody. it had a big impact on that decision. when you see that general motors, we have a very bad trade deal with korea, very, very bad trade deal. it's a deal that -- it's incompetent that somebody could have made a deal like that. so we have a horrible trade deal with korea. now even before we do something with that, because we're negotiating the trade deal with korea. we'll either negotiate a fair deal or terminate the deal. before we do that, already general motors is coming back into detroit. that is a really significant statement. many others to follow, from many other countries. mike, go ahead. >> yeah, mr. president, let me
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tell you that 2,800 people were laid off in my district in 2015 in a steel plant that had been operating for over 100 years. the concern that we have is, is that steel plant produces what's known as the oil country tubular goods, octg. when we're doing the exploration in oil we are, korea has dumped 200% last year in an overabundance in that market. we're not able to get those jobs back. >> where did it go, it went to korea? >> all the products are coming from korea now that we've turned up. unless we use the power under 232, because if something goes south, now all after of sudden while we're trying to become energy independent. these plants don't turn up overnight. >> the korean agreement as you know, mike, and most of the people at this table, that was done by the last administration.
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it was supposed to produce 150 to 200,000 jobs, and it did for korea. for us, it produced nothing but losses. it's a horrible deal. and -- all you have to do is look at it. you know it's going to be bad. so the korea deal was a disaster. it was supposed to be good for us, and it turned out to be very bad for us and just, you know, you're one example of it, but there are many examples all over the country. i think general motors moving back to detroit is a fantastic thing. a sign of many other companies to come. mike pence, would you have something to say? >> thank you, mr. president, i want to thank all of the republican and democrats taking time to be here, and their profound interest in this issue. to your point, this is about our economy, but it's about national security. and the president directed a 232 review to determine whether or not our national security has been affected by the dumping of steel and aluminum.
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and today is very much the president's desire, our administration's desire, to hear from each of you and the perspectives that will also inform the decisions that the president will make. i think that it's fair to say that we all support national security. i think that's evidenced by the recent budget agreement that the president helped drive and republicans and democrats have supported for a historic increase in our national defense. but we also all support american jobs. and we very much look forward to your counsel as the president approaches this decision. i appreciate the bipartisan spirit of this meeting and the conversation that will follow. >> and really, as mike said, i want to hear from both sides. we have a lot of great representatives, both democrats and republicans. i want to hear from both sides before we make the decision. in one case you're going to create jobs, you may have a higher price, may be a little bit higher. but you're going to have jobs. and the other case you may have a lower price, but you're not
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going to have jobs it's going to be made in china and other places. so those are big decisions. but to me jobs are very important. todd, do you have something to say? >> mr. president, thank you for having us here today. i represent a state that is not only a major manufacturer of steel, we have u.s. steel, mittol and others who are manufacturing it. but we have the downstream users which you alluded to. clearly you understand the need to balance the two. the main target, i'll speak plainly with you, sir, should be china. they're violating the international rules, stealing intellectual property, overproducing steel products and over products. >> we've spoken to them very, very strongly, we've told them we have something coming up in the near future that you know. we've told them, it just can't continue. we have a trade deficit with china, that i inherited by the way. we have a trade deficit of $504
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billion. okay. so if you think of it, when you look at how well they do and how many bridges they're building, and how many jets they're building, and fighter planes, we did it. we did it. people that sat in my seat allowed them to do this. so we're not going to allow that. we're talking to them right now, very strongly. and hopefully we'll have a great relationship. but we're talking to them very strongly. todd, you're right, it's a big percentage of our deficits. the money we've lost and the jobs we've lost to china it's unthinkable that people allowed that to happen. this is over a period, not just obama, this is over a period of many years this has happened. thank you very much, todd. pat, would you like to say something? >> thanks very much, mr. president, i would just urge us to go very, very cautiously here, especially with section 232. as you know, our defense needs consume about 3% of domestic
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steel consumption. it's implausible to believe that we're not able to meet the needs of our defense industry, which is absolutely essential. imports in 2016 were 16% of domestic consumption. so the vast majority of the steel we consume we, in fact, produce ourselves. which is the way i prefer it. and it is the case today. china was down to 2% of the 16%. so a very, very small portion. my -- my main message, mr. president -- >> but they have transshipping. they would ship to other countries and their steel would come in from other countries so you can't see where the steel is coming from. >> so what i would urge is any country that is violating our trade laws and our trade agreements go after them. countervailing duty. >> that's all countries. >> but the 232 is a different matter. invoking national security, when i think it's really hard to make that case, invites retaliation. that would be problematic for us. >> well, the word retaliation,
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pat, is interesting, and i know you agree with this, we have so many countries where we make a product, they make a product, they pay a tremendous -- we pay a tremendous tax to get into their countries, motorcycles, harley davidson goes into a certain country, i won't mention the fact it happens to be india in this case. and a great gentleman called me from india and he said we have just reduce it had tariff on motorcycles, reduced it down to 50%, 5-0, from 75 and even 100%. and we have, if you are harley davidson, you have to pay 50% to 75% tax tariff to get your motorcycle, your product in. and yet they sell thousands and thousands of motorcycles, which a lot of people don't know, from india into the united states. you know what our tax is? nothing. so i say we should have reciprocal taxes for a case like that. i'm not blaming india. it's great they can get away with it.
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i don't know why people allowed them to get away with it. but there's an example that's very unfair. and i think we should have a reciprocal tax. that's called fair trade. it's called free trade. ultimately what's going to happen is either we'll collect the same they're collecting or probably what happens is they'll end up not charging a tax, and we won't have a tax. that becomes free trade. so we have too many examples like that. and the word reciprocal, as pat said, the word reciprocal is a very important word. we have countries that are taking advantage of us, charging us massive tariffs for us to sell our product into those countries, and what they sell to us, zero, we charge them zero. we're like the stupid people. and i don't like to have that anymore. we're going to change that and we're going to make that fair. i call that fair trade. again, one of two things will happen. i think what's going to happen is they'll reduce their tax to
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the same as our tax. mike, would you like to say something? >> yeah, sure. one of the things that worries me with regard to this proposed action is that there's so many things manufactured in the united states, so many jobs that pass to so many things manufactured in the united states that use steel and aluminum as inputs. on the case of steel, we're talking about 16% that's imported. but the availability of those imports and the absence of additional duties on those means that those goods can be manufactured and sold more cost effectively. that takes a whole lot of people, including a whole lot of voters in each of our states, a whole lot in mine certainly in jobs. so even though there may be some job winners from an action like this, i strongly suspect that as has at times been the case in the past, you would end up with net job losses in the united states. that's what worries me here, particularly in light of the absence of what i can see as a
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real national security threat. only 3% of what we're able to produce domestically is what's needed for our national security reasons. i think that ought to be taken into consideration. >> that number is thrown way off because of our big military spending. something we all agree on, we had to do a lot of work for our military. our military is not been taken care of properly. now it's being taken care of properly. that 3% number will be going way up. but at the same time, it's not a tremendous, you know, it's not -- as a percentage it's not a tremendous number. i will say this, steel and aluminum are interesting. it will create a lot of jobs. i believe that some of the dumpers will eat a lot of the tax themselves because they do it to keep people working, and we do it for that and other reasons. but i will say that a finished product is a much simpler thing. as an example, germany sends us cars. we send them cars. they practically don't take them. how many chevrolets do you see in the middle of berlin?
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not too many, folks. not too many. but they send mercedes, they send bmw, send them over here in tremendous numbers. japan sends us tremendous numbers of cars. they also make cars here. the way there's no tax, all they have to do, mike, is very simple, they do a factory here. there's no tax. now all of a sudden there's no tax. so factories here in order to avoid a tax. with cars, television sets, things like that, where they're dumping them on us. we don't make television sets anymore in this country. they come from south korea, and to a lesser extent, from japan, most of them come from south korea. it's not fair. and i believe that we should have reciprocal taxes on that. like wise. that's a different product. that's a much simpler -- we did it with the washing machines as you saw a couple weeks ago, a huge impact on that industry, a huge impact. and by the way, you know what's happening? the people that made the washing machines outside of this country are now expanding their factories in the united states
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so they don't have to pay the 25% and 30% tax. and the same thing's happening with the solar panels. we're starting to make -- we had 32 companies, i think we're down, gary, to two, right? we made solar panels. every one of our companies was wiped out. i have to say, and this is agreed to -- we made a much higher quality, a much better solar panel. we make them better. but we couldn't compete. now -- we've had a lot of good things, a lot of places are opening up that are starting to make solar panels again. with a finished product, it's different. with steel and aluminum what we're talking about today, it's a good point, mike, you're right, the question is, would you rather pay a little more and create job all over the country? and it's possible you won't be creating -- really, you won't be having much of a problem in terms of pricing. i actually think a lot of the countries are going to eat it because they want to continue to
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export, and they're making a fortune. look, we have rebuilt china. we have rebuilt a lot of -- with the money they've taken out of the united states. we're like the piggy bank that had people running it that didn't know what the hell they were doing. we have rebuilt countries like massively. you look at some of these countries, look at south korea, look at japan, look at so many countries, and then we defend them on top of everything else. we defend saudi arabia, they pay us a fraction of what it cost. we defend japan, we defend south korea, they pay us a fraction of what it cost. we're talking to all of those countries about that. it's not fair that we defend them and they pay us a fraction of the cost of that defense. separate argument, but a real problem. gary, would you like to say something? senator, go ahead. >> thank you, mr. president, we have senator brown, senator peters, senator casey. so you've got a good collection
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from finance committee and the commerce committee. i just make two points really quickly, mr. president. first, yesterday you all released the infrastructure plan. and i looked at it very carefully. and i couldn't see even any incentives, let alone requirements to use american steel. now, senator brown, i think, always says it's a great opportunity for bipartisanship. if we can work with you on that one, that ought to be a no brainer. >> we can. >> and there's one other thing on that point, mr. president, i'll be very brief. and that is actually with respect to american steel, the way the plan reads now, it actually allows the states to walk back from commitments to use american steel. so point one would be could we work with you on that? point two is the secretary and ambassador lighthizer have been
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forthcoming in working with us, but we have been trying to see this 232 report. we appreciate your asking us for our advice. we will need to see that report in order to give you more specifics. but i come back to senator brown's point, i think there's an opportunity for real bipartisanship here in those two areas. >> i agree. i'd like you to come back with a suggestion on infrastructure and the plan. i think that's a bipartisan plan. i will tell you when i approved the two pipelines, the keystone, the two big ones, when i approved them, i said, where is the steel being made? they told me a location that did not make me happy. and i wrote down that from now on steel is being made for the pipelines, as you know it's got to be made in the united states, and it's got to be fabricated in the united states, so i'm a believer in that also. if you would come back with a suggestion, that would be great. bob, what about 232? >> well, i think we could put out the report.
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but let me just say, i want to second what the senator said, trade has always been bipartisan in this country until the last few years. with this and with nafta and the other things we're doing, we can have democrats and republicans vote in large numbers together. that's the point i wanted to make. >> can i speak on that too? >> thank you. i very much appreciate the work that ambassador lighthizer has done, generally, specifically on 232 and secretary ross's work on 232. i want to talk for a moment about nafta. trade, as he says, has always been nonpartisan. good evidence of that is what senator portman, my colleague from cincinnati, i'm from cleveland, what we've been able to do together on the level playing field act, on trade enforcement, on currency, and on
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clyde, ohio, the washing machine case. we appreciate what you've done here. i sent the president transition staff three days after the election, sent him a letter outlining what we could do together on trade. the president, thank you, sent back a nice handwritten note about that. i appreciate working together on everything from tpp to nonmarket economy status to 232 to the washing machine case, to all of those issues. and i ask -- the washing machine case is 3,000 jobs in a small town in northwest ohio, an hour away from three doe. that really matters to a lot of families. i'm hoping we can do quick action on 232. it needs to be comprehensive, aimed as todd said certainly at china, but beyond china. 232 needs to apply more broadly. and i also, i will just conclude that we can work on nafta together. i will work if nafta is written in a way that supports workers
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as i'm confident it will be with ambassador lighthizer's hand prints on it. it will be done bipartisan if done right. that's my reputation. that's what i'll continue to fight for. senator wyden and casey and weathers are on board with that. >> i think we can go bipartisan on infrastructure. maybe even more so than we can on daca. because the difference is, we want to help daca, you don't. okay? i'm kidding. i'm sure you do. i hope we can. by the way, while we're at a table, i hope we can do daca. that's currently up. i think we have a chance to do daca very bipartisan. i think that can happen, and i hope we're going to be able to do that, senator. i think we will. on infrastructure, the purpose of what we're doing today, come back with a proposal. we put in our bid. come back with a proposal. we have a lot of people that are great republicans that want
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something to happen. we have to rebuild our country. you know, i said yesterday, we've spent $7 trillion, when i say spent, and i mean wasted, not to mention all of the lives, most importantly and everything else, but we've spent $7 trillion about two months ago in the middle east, $7 trillion. and if you want to borrow $2 to build a road some place, including your state, the great state of ohio, if you want to build a road, if you want to build a tunnel, or a bridge, or fix a bridge because so many of them are in bad shape, you can't do it. and yet we spent $7 trillion in the middle east. explain that one. >> we have a bipartisan proposal with real dollars on it in infrastructure. we're glad to put it out there and work together on our infrastructure bill, plus what you can leverage. it needs real dollars. >> i would love to have you get back to us quickly. we can do this quickly. we have to rebuild our country
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and our roads and our bridges and our tunnels. the faster you get back, the faster we can move. focus on daca this week if you don't mind. but the faster you get back, the faster we move. jackie, you were going to say? >> thank you, mr. president, grateful for your willingness to sit down and just talked to. but i represent the recreational vehicle industry in northern indiana, elkhart, county, we have 85% of that market. and i'm a defense hawk, i get what you're saying, what we're all saying around this table. we're one of the largest manufacturing districts in this country. the problem is right now, when we talk about balance, the mere threat of tariffs right now from some of my folks manufacturing right now, they employ some 15,000 people just in my district in indiana, and a guy -- one of my guys called me this morning the mere threat of tariffs has raised aluminum and steel costs by 25%. canadian soft wood raised 20%. the labor cost to the industry
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is already up 10% to 15% because the job market is so tight. this is a market that was 21% unemployment when we really had the financial crisis in this country. now we're down to 2.1%. their concern, my concern is if we seriously have a balanced effort, and be able to keep and retain the momentum in a place like northern indiana, and be fair at the same time, i am 100% supportive of what you're doing. i would just ask that you look at that balance of what it's doing to current employees and giant growth that our tax reform helped just two months ago. >> what you have to ask your manufacturers too, and i know some of those manufacturers, they were great to me, and they're friends, and they voted. they're great people. but you have to ask them one question, when you build their product, and you send that big, beautiful product they make like nobody else and you send that to another country, how much tax does that other country charge them? therefore, they don't sell it there very much because the tax is so high. one of the things we want to do
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is we want fairness. we don't want what's been happening. because you look at it and you do well here. but they come in and they compete with you and we take their product for nothing and you want to sell your product overseas, which is probably triple the market for you, if you ever could get it. a lot of our transferrers have given up, given up on that. i would tell you, harley davidson, i was saying what's the story? they were saying it's a 75 to 100% tax. they got used to it so many years. i'm doing it for them and others. but they weren't even asking. they've gotten used to it. and your folks have gotten used to it too. you take that great product and sole it overseas, they make it almost impossible for you to do that, not only monetarily with the tax, but they also have other criteria. >> i understand. but i would say, mr. president, there's also -- the second issue that has developed in this country with these corporations, and producing the quality vehicles that they do, is the
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true american smelters left. in reference of the costs here, they won't even fill the products of some of these customers because they don't have to, because they have people standing in line. if you can't buy the specks, you're out of a job. >> i agree. we want big competition, including competition within our country, and we want to take outside sources. but we want competition and we want jobs. >> and customer service. >> and we want customer service. that's right, any questions? yes, senator, lamar. >> mr. president, thank you so much for -- how's carrie doing? >> good, thanks. thank you for your support and for sticking with us. i talked to senator murray about it earlier. we're making progress. thank you very much and thanks to the vice president for his work on that. if i could use two 60-second stories. i don't know exactly what the tariff is proposed, and i thank you for having us down here before you've made your decision. that's a big help.
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i thank you for that. so here are the two examples. i hope you will look carefully at what president george w. bush did in 2002 when he imposed 30% steel tariffs, 30% increase on tariffs from china, south korea, a couple other places. the effect was, one, that even though that was only 5% of the imported steel, it raised the price of almost all steel in the united states. two, at the same time auto parts manufacturers who used the steel began to cut jobs and move outside of our country because they could buy the steel there, make the part and ship the part back in without any tariff. we found there were ten times as many people in steel using industries as there were in
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steel-producing industries. a so according to the auto manufacturers they lost more jobs than exist in the steel industry. so that's -- so the questions would be, will it raise prices. >> lamar, didn't work for bush, but it worked for others. you're right, it did not work for bush. >> i'm not recommending any solution. i'm just saying it's worth looking at what happened because it backfired, raised prices and lost jobs. then the other 60-second story is my dad worked for alkoa in the smelting plant in tennessee. we don't have smelting plants for aluminum anymore because you have to use a lot of electricity to make them and they're never coming back, really. we only have six left. so now we're lucky enough there to be making auto parts from aluminum for cars, jobs are coming back up. but if we put a tariff on the ingots that come in from
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overseas, that will raise the prices, that will hurt. our aluminum comes from canada, none from china. i hope you'll look carefully at where the aluminum comes from. >> you're right, i have to say this, canada has treated us very, very unfairly when it comes to lumber and timber. very unfairly. we have to understand that. you know, it's not just one thing or another. canada has been very tough with this country when it comes to timber, lumber and other things. and they have not been easy when it comes to wisconsin and our farmers. because you try and ship product into canada if you're a farmer, you are a farmer up in wisconsin and other places, you try and ship your things up to canada it's been a very tough -- it's been a very tough situation for them. i will say that. i agree with what you're saying, it's very much a double edged sword. ron? >> you mentioned wisconsin. so you understand -- yeah, obviously manufacturing for 30-some years. i've exported a lot of products. the fact of the matter is, mr.
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president, wisconsin operates a trade surplus with both canada and mexico because we now export manufacturing products but also agricultural products. trade works very well for wisconsin. i agree with the concerns that you've expressed as well as the concerns of senator toomey and senator lee. what we have is the basic root cause of this problem is a massive overcapacity, primarily in china, that's true. how do you address that? we need to be very cautious without raising -- without raising prices. senator alexander was talking about 2002. spot prices increased 69 to 82%. producer prices raised from 19 to 27%. let me add something, we talked about jobs, highest paying jobs, tax reform is going to juice the economy. and with such a tight labor market, wages are already increasing.
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in wisconsin, a big manufacturing state, in seven years i have not visited one manufacturer who could hire enough people. certainly my experience in the last 20, 25 years. for a host of reasons, we tell our kids you have to get a four-year degree, we pay people not to work. so we do need to be concerned about, in such a tight labor market, do we have enough workers in manufacturing? so my final point is, it makes no sense to me to try and bring back high labor content manufacturing to america. we need to do the value-added things. so i would just say proceed with real caution there. trade abuses, address those, attack those, try and figure out how to address this massive oversupply in the steel industry. but do it carefully. we have experience -- >> i agree. i do have to say that we have a pool of 100 million people of which some of them, many of them want to work. they want to have a job. a lot of them do better not working, frankly, under the laws. and people don't like to talk
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about it. but you're competing against government. and they have great potential. they sort of want to work, but they're making less if they work than if they stay home and do other things. we have to address that situation. that's a big problem. but we have a pool of 100 million people, a lot of whom want to work. we will also have a very much more merit-based immigration policy where we're going to bring in people that will be great workers and fill up foxconn and all other places, like i was instrumental in getting you foxconn through my friendships with that great company. and they're going to wisconsin, it's going to be incredible, going to employ tremendous numbers of people, going to build one of the biggest plants in the world. it's going to be very exciting. but people will move there. but we have a big pool of people that want to work, and they can't. just to address the one other point, we have a trade deficit with canada. we have a big imbalance of at least $17 billion. with mexico we have an
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imbalance, we have a trade deficit of $71 billion, and i believe that number is really much higher than that. i might ask bob lighthizer to discuss that. were you going to say one other thing, ron? >> as long as you brought up the whole immigration thing, there is absolutely no doubt that we have to fix our horribly broken legal immigration system. one of my proposals is literally a three year workers managed by the states, let the states determine what industries they can set the wage rates and completely control the process. i'm hoping as part of this bipartisan process that we actually fix our horribly broken legal immigration system so we do have the workers, and it has to be merit-based. i ask my democratic colleagues, work with us, let's fix the dreamer problem, but the horribly broken legal immigration system. >> i want to go back to 232, i'll focus on steel, 232 and pennsylvania. in your opening you talked about
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the job impact as well as the national security impact. i'm glad you raised both. i'll focus on national security. in western pennsylvania, as well as in eastern pennsylvania, you have two examples among several. but the two are ak steel in western pennsylvania. they are the last remaining manufacturer of electrical steel, meaning the steel that goes into our electricity grid. they've been hammered by this, as you know. in the eastern part -- >> they've been hammered by what? by not having the 232 remedy. >> to the extent you can focus on that, the steel executives, the letter they sent you on the 1st of february, i think, outlines the problem. this really is a national security -- >> why didn't the previous administration help the steel workers, why didn't the previous administration work on 232? >> well, i would -- look, i think there are a lot of us that
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had disagreements over the years with the administration then about being more aggressive. >> tremendous disservice. >> i hope that in this -- i know it's a 90-day period, but i hope you can promptly determine it. >> thank you very much. i appreciate it. >> mr. president, i agree with bob. that's a good example, ak steel the last electrical steel manufacturer, 101% increase over the last year, of electrical steel coming into our country. it's a small market but a critical market. they tell us if they don't get relief. they will pull out so we won't have the steel that goes into transformers and our grid. what's the good example. what i would say, sir, we've talked about this before, any response here needs to be targeted and electrical steel is a place to target it. the other place i think is the oil country product that was talked about earlier, 82% increase there, and, you know, frankly, what's coming from
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korea. they're taking chinese for the most part and trans shipping it to us. that's hurting our ability to have this energy independence. those are two specific areas where there's an opportunity to do something. to use 232 which is a national security, but let me tell you with regard to road steel and with regard to other products like senator brown said we've had some pretty good success by going after them with regard to unfair trade practices. that's the level the playing field act, which is just now being implemented. as i've told you before, even stronger enforcement of that would be great. because that will -- >> very little enforcement before. we're very strongly enforcing it now. wilbur, you might want to talk about that. we are very strongly -- but they have not had good enforcement previous to this. >> the second part of this, and you're right, is with regard to the enforce act. ron wyden and senator brown and i and others have worked on
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this. what it says is if a country transships, in other words sends their steel to malaysia, which we believe happens to china steel, put as different stamp on it, we need to be more aggressive in going after them. it's a matter of border protection. we can do more with our existing laws as well. and i think 232 is part of the overall response, but it needs to be targeted. i agree with what senator alexander and others says about the balance, toomey and others, we we've got to be careful because we don't want to increase the products of steel products that go into other manufacturing, but there are areas, like electrical, like pipe and tube where we've got to stand up and help to defend in the case electrical, our last american manufacturer. >> right. you know, rob, we have steel coming into our country from countries that don't even know what steel is. they don't make it. they never made it. it's transshipping. it's coming from china and some others. but mostly from china and they send it through countries that don't make steel and it comes pouring into our country.
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and free, free. and it's a very bad -- very bad situation. kevin? >> yes, so, one, i think everyone in this room supports you aggressively holding china accountable for its overcapacity in a major way. thank you for that. 232 is a little like old-fashioned chemotherapy. it isn't used as much because it can often do as much damage as good. and an example that happens all around the country, but we send steel pellets from corpus christi to austria that does this amazing job of super refining. we bring it back and refine it further and sell it to many american energy companies who use that specialized steel. if transactions like that, that are pretty typical around the country, get caught up, in that case we punished three american
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manufacturing industries for that, all of whom, by the way, are looking at expanding because of your tax reform plan. and so my point is, we have to be really targeted, you have to be really targeted here. also, we've got allies. with us against china's unfair trade practices. we have to be careful, as you look at these decisions, to target it, to make sure our allies are with us as we do this. >> okay, very good, thank you, kevin. rick? >> thank you, mr. president. one thing i want to point out, we had the conversation about the national security imperative, in the context of the defense industry. i just want to add one thing to that, it's our ability to address our own inputs, not just addressing the needs of the defense industry, but our ability to produce for our own consumption as we take on infrastructure projects and so on. >> that's right. >> i think we don't just need to focus on those percentages, but also broadly how this impacts our ability to provide for our
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own inputs. one other thing, 74% capacity in the united states, the steel industry is losing market share. >> rapidly. >> that translates to economic loss in communities, as representative boss, he and i co-chair the caucus, we are keenly aware of what happens to those communities when they don't have that kind of certainty. >> thank you very much. >> i appreciate your comments about michigan and the auto industry. i'd like to say a big reason why those jobs are coming back is because we have the best workers anywhere in the world. they can build it on time and build it with outstanding quality, as long as the rules are fair. i appreciate this issue. it should be a bipartisan -- >> the problem is, you didn't have good policy. that's why so many jobs left, but now they're coming back. they like coming back to michigan. >> as long as we have fair rules. we have to continue to push this forward. i'd like to pick up on senator alexander's comments too, is that we also have to be
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concerned about the auto parts industry as well. we have probably more jobs in auto parts in michigan than any other of the industrial sectors. they all go together. we've got to deal with the steel pricing issue. i agree with everything said here. we can't have the dumping of auto parts that will take away michigan jobs as well as jobs around the country. if i could bring up one other issue that we should take a look at, i'm working in bipartisan way with senator beurre on an issue related to the commerce department having the ability to self-initiate trade enforcement actions smaller than industries like steel or aluminum or washing machines, we have small businesses that don't have the resources, quite frankly to bring a trade enforcement case, to go through the lawyers to do that. michigan, for example, we have cherries, the dumping of cherries that's making it very difficult for growers in michigan. they don't have the resources to bring those kinds of enforcement action. we're working on legislation to give secretary ross, the department of commerce more tools to help our small businesses, and i'd love to have your help.
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>> you have my help. i think it's a fantastic idea. because you're right, they can't hire the lawyers. it's too small, but, you know, in a double way, it's very, very big. wilbur, are you working on that? >> yes, sir. as you know, we for the first time in many years commerce department did self-initiate, happened it was in a big industry, it was in aluminum. but there are limitations to what a conventional trade case can do. the main limitation, it doesn't prevent people from the transshipment to other countries. a lot of what 232 can do for us is to solve that problem. and 232 doesn't have to mean the same tariff on every single country. doesn't have to mean the same tariff on every single product. it can be applied in a much more surgical way. and we presented the president
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with a range of alternatives that goes from a big tariff on everything from everywhere to very selective tariffs on a very selected group of countries. there are one or two countries that figure quite prominently in all of the lists. those names will come as no surprise to you. but, for example -- >> and the problem you have with that, though, is transshipping. you think you're going to put a pinpoint on a country, but then they ship it to other countries you're not even thinking about. you have to be careful. >> so what the 232 would let us do is to have quotas on countries that we weren't putting a tariff, put a quota, say what they're shipping in now, so it's not going to restrict supply, but it would prevent the evil doers from transshipping more goods through that country. >> evil doers, that's a good word. of which there are many. >> yes, sir, there are, there are, mr. president. >> you're doing a good job, wilbur, thank you. you've been tough. go ahead, fellas.
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>> mr. president, the comments that have been made here been made today about balance is absolutely essential. i mean, managing job creation, and controlling costs at the same time has got to be the major factors in this. >> and deficits too, deficits too? >> absolutely. >> you know, there are some people that don't believe in deficits, they think it doesn't matter. to me it matters a lot. >> i think it matters a lot. two points i'll make, one to kind of put a stamp on what senator portman said, ak steel is the only manufacturer in america that makes the electrical steel. that is necessary for the transformers that feed and produce electricity in our electric grid. china, we are at risk of losing that industry. and if we lose that, we are absolutely potentially at hostage by the chinese for management and maintenance of our electrical grid. number two, you've made a big
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case, and i think you have rightfully so told the world that america's open for business. and the regulatory reforms that you've done, the tax reforms that you have done has put america back in business. one of the biggest businesses that is promoting job creation today is the only gas industry. and in eastern and south eastern ohio, big projects like ethane they require tremendous amounts of steel. we've got to make sure that whatever we do in this formula keeps costs down because those projects are huge. i mean, they are massive. you're talking about six to $8 billion project. and big cost increases in steel could be a big deal. so we've got to balance the job creation with the -- >> i agree. i know that area very well, you're right. yes?
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>> thank you, mr. president. at home in southeast missouri we have a real example of where we lost 900 jobs in march of 2016 because our aluminum smelter closed. and i believe that these aluminum smelters can be reopened. i don't -- >> and for a different reason too, because of what we've done our energy prices are going so low, electric costs are going so low that other countries won't compete with us. we're doing a great job of bringing them down. a lot of that had to do with tax out cans, but lots of other things too. >> go ahead, tell me about that. >> when you look at southeast missouri, the median income household is $40,000. one of the poorest congressional districts in the country. when we lost 900 jobs, that hit home in the boot hill of missouri. without a doubt. if you just look at the numbers of aluminum production in china,
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that in 2000 was 10% of the world production, in 2015 was 54%, there's a problem, mr. president. and i believe that we can have the production back, and we have a vacant facility in new madrid, missouri that we want to open and we want to create more jobs. and i applaud you for looking at 232 and looking at a reasonable approach to make sure we're open for business in all industries, not just one. >> well, we all have to remember that there is no tax, or there is no tariff if they come in and build plants in this country. so there is no -- we're just talking about something, but there is nothing. steel's a little bit different than a car, a little bit different than a washing machine, or any of the other things we're doing or talking about doing. but nevertheless, you build your factory, you build your plant in the united states. there is no tax. so that's a big difference. that's why i think you're going to see general motors coming back, a lot of companies are
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coming back, and they're coming back to areas that you represent. it's a good feeling, it's a really good feeling. maybe i'll just have bob finish up, do you want to do that? roy, were you going to say something first? >> like the ak steel, we need to be careful here, there is only one american producer, but there are lots of american buyers, electric motors in the washing machine, the generators, the grid, all of that is dependent currently on a lot of electric steel coming from somewhere else. i think the balance of keeping that company in business -- >> good balance. >> why you keep all these other companies -- it's going to take a long time to either expand or have more competitors here. so we need to be very thoughtful about all the other buyers of that product that has only one american source. so it is a great example, but it's a great example to remember that washing machine motor as well as all the other things
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that electric steel is used for, sir. >> good point. the word balance is very important. yes, go ahead, sir. >> taking off on what roy said, and as you apply, as you and secretary ross apply 232, and i understand the cautionary notes from some of my colleagues, i think it's important that we always keep in mind china's excess capacity. and china's excess capacity doesn't mean you aim 232 just at china because china's excess capacity is, as you point out, is spread elsewhere. the best example was your comment on oil country tubular steel through korea, rob said korea doesn't drill itself, it's just the pass-through point. because the capacity is in some ways asked by sales, not production throughout the world, it's important that 232 be aimed at china's excess capacity and countries all over the world. >> i agree with that.
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maybe you could a very brief discussion of where you are with nafta. this is a group that's interested in nafta. >> i've spoken to some of these members here, mr. president. we're making progress on nafta. a lot of ang kpieour view is thr one nafta has not served the united states well, some people very well, but other people not done a good job. we're making headway, particularly with respect to the mexicans that we are making headway, a number of issues we still have to work through, but i am hopeful we'll be in the position. i think the most important to get a good deal, whether you'll find it acceptable, but most importantly i want it to be in agreement that the vast majority of republicans and democrats support, this is very important we have a new para dime in steel, that we get 20 or 25 democrats in the senate and a large number of them in the
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house to vote for this deal. i, as well, of course vote -- that's more much in reach of what we can do. >> i want to thank everybody very much. i really would like to see you come back with a counterproposal on the infrastructure. i think we're going to get that done. i really believe that's -- we're going to get a lot of democrats, a lot of republicans, get it done. it's something we should do, fix our country and our roads and our tunnels and bridges and everything. so if you can work together on that, and i am ready, willing and able. it's very important. then of course this week i know you're working very hard on daca, everybody in the room wants daca. let's see if we can get that done. a great achievement. if we could do it, it would be a great achievement and it would be something on a humane basis would be excellent. i want to thank you all for being here, if you have any suggestions, call me, call gary, call wilbur, call bob. i very much appreciate you being
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here, if it's necessary, we'll have another meeting to iron out points. on infrastructure this is such a natural for us to get done and i think we can probably do it. thank you very much. thank you very much. >> day two, and the senate barely out of first gear on immigration debate. alex bollton, senior staff writer on the hill has joined us, what has kept the debate from moving forward on tuesday? >> well, republicans and democrats can't agree on what the first votes are going to be, and more specifically democrats don't want to vote on a proposal sponsored by pat toomey, the republican from pennsylvania that would penalize cities, so-called sanctuary cities that don't cooperate with federal law
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enforcement on immigration law. that's a vote that democrats don't want to have and republicans have insisted on it a couple times already to come to the floor. mitch mcconnell tried to bring it up mid-day tuesday and then again at the end of the day tried to get a vote on the toomey proposal. democrats objected both times. instead the democrats want to vote on a bipartisan plan backed by chris coons of delaware and john mccain of arizona. that would essentially provide a path to citizenship for the so-called dreamers, the illegal immigrants that came at a young age in exchange or border security, $25 million in border security parcelled out over time. and the other proposal, the democrats have suggested voting on is the legislation sponsor by chuck grassley and tom cotton that reflects the president's four-point immigration plan. the democrats would rather vote
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on the trump immigration proposal rather than the toomey sanctuary cities proposal. >> so, in effect, both sides have really shown their hands on this in terms of what the republicans want, what the democrats want. ideally at the end of the week what are you hearing from people off the floor and senators of what they think is able to be accomplished by week's end? >> it's hard to say at this point because i think the two sides are at logger heads. the schumer says that the basically that the key points of president trump's plan, which is to change the waiting that failing relationships get for green cards and to substantially overhaul the diversity visa lottery program, those aren't acceptable. that's -- he says that's going beyond the scope of the deferred action for childhood arrivals program which trump rescinded in september, gave congress a march
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deadline to do something with it. he's willing to entertain reforms that are limited to recipients and the family members of daca recipients, and he doesn't want to go farther than that. if you want to broaden out reforms like republicans do, then the democrats will want additional concessions. he says we won't need to bring out the 11 million living in the shad do shadows. he wants more people wants more citizenship. that's chuck schumer's position. that's unacceptable with republicans right now. to answer your question, where does this all independent up? it's very hard to say. someone is going to have to back down. think mcconnell is pretty much daring the republicans to take the republican offer. it's almost a take it or leave it offer at this point, that's what it appears to me. we'll see what the democrats do, but given how short the debate's going to be, mcconnell emphasized this is only going to go on through the end of the week and they're not going to take it past the present recess.
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it's hard to see them arriving at a solution in the next 48 hours. >> let me ask you on the headline of the senate because you cover the senate leaders and the headline about the senate leaders meeting. you talked about mcconnell. the headline said the senate needs to move on from immigration. they've got other business, obviously. what's the timeline this week or specifically wednesday for moving ahead with the immigration debate? >> well, this debate's been delayed as of tuesday evening, the senate is not on the shell of a bill yet. the democrats had not yielded back the post-cloture time. so that means on wednesday morning, the senate will finally be on the bill and then they can start proposing amendments to it and mcconnell can start the process of filing cloture on the amendments, but that means unless there is a bipartisan agreement on how to proceed, the votes may be delayed adds late as friday. mcconnell told reporters after
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the republican lunch on tuesday that he is only going to allocate this week to debate immigration reform. he said that he -- he says that the senate should be able to wrap this up before the present day recess, which starts on saturday and goes for a week, and when the senate comes back he says we have other things to do, so let's get it done down, but there has been a pretty substantial delay to this debate and we don't have time set on amendment votes or we don't even know what those amendments are going to be yet. >> lastly, i know you're focused on the senate, but your colleague scott wong had a headline, house gop leaders will whip conservative immigration bill. what are we to make of that? >> well, paul ryan, the house speaker, is under pressure from members of his caucus to put forward a conservative immigration counteroffer, and this is something that even goes if it's the goodlatte bill, it goes beyond what the president
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has proposed, the four-point plan, but think it's essentially -- he's emphasizing to the democrats in the senate that if you pass -- if you manage to pick off 11 republicans and pass a narrow bill that trades border security for a legal status or path to citizenship for 1.8 million dreamers, it's not going to go anywhere in the house, so i think it's a message from the house to senate democrats, basically backing up the position of mitch mcconnell and the senate republicans that if dreamers are going to be protected, there need to be some substantial reforms included. >> alex bolton, senior staff writer with "the hill." you can read his reporter at as always, we appreciate the update. thanks. >> thanks for having me. c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning, georgia republican congressman rob woodall discusses the trump
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administration's 2019 budget and infrastructure plan. then california democratic congressman john garamendi will also weigh in on president trump's budget. and wellesley college professor katherine moon will discuss the u.s. goal of using the olympics to highlight issues with north korea. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern, wednesday morning. join the discussion. coming up, treasury secretary steven mnuchin testifies before the senate finance committee on the president's 2019 budget proposal. we'll join his testimony live starting at 10:30 a.m. eastern here on c-span3. veterans affairs secretary dr. david shulkin testify testifies about his agent's 2019 budget proposal thursday. secretary shulkin appears before the house veterans affairs committee live at 8:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span3.
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sunday night on "after words," former u.s. trade negotiator and senior senate staffer ira shapiro with his book "broken: can the senate save itself and the country?" he's interviewed by former senate majority leader tom daschle. >> politics was supposed to be about finding a way to overcome some of those differences through principled -- through extended discussion and a real legislative process, through principled compromise. it wasn't supposed to be about one party winning on their own. the times, as you know, the times in history when one party has been able to do this on your own are very few, maybe 1933 and '34, fdr dealing with the depression. lbj, '64/'65, but even lbj
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reached out to republicans and fdr had republican support the first two >> watch "after words" sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2's "book tv." next, a panel on trade from the georgetown university mccord school of public policy. this was a part of a day-long conference on free trade and the benefits for america as well as other countries. this hour and ten minute panel focused on financial regulations and trade agreements. >> perfect. so, i'm michael lobarman, i'm one of the conference chairs for the mccourt policy conference. i'd like to start by thanking those who arrived and those who have been with us from this morning or just arrived from the u.n. ambassadors panel. think the next panel is really in some respect at