Congressman Mark S. Critz (PA-12) announced today that the House Armed Services Committee has passed the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, including an amendment requiring that armor steel plate procured for defense purposes is melted in the United States.
The Brooks-Critz-Ryan Amendment restores a nearly 40-year precedent of ensuring that armor steel plate be melted domestically, a policy critical to the future viability of the armor plate industry and its workers, as well as to the nation's national defense. The current Defense Department rule defines the term "produced," as it relates to armor plate, in such a way as to allow the product to be made with metals melted and rolled outside of the United States, merely requiring that late-stage finishing processes take place domestically.
"The Defense Department's definition of "domestically produced' armor steel plate threatens our industrial base by increasing our reliance on foreign suppliers at the expense of American steel workers," said Congressman Critz, a Member of the House Armed Services Committee who cosponsored the amendment and voted for final passage of the FY13 National Defense Authorization Act. "It's absurd to call a product "Made in America' if it is melted and rolled in China and only tempered here in the states. This current definition is unacceptable, and the Brooks-Critz-Ryan amendment ensures that the Defense Department procures armor steel plate that is produced in the United States."
The Amendment, which is critical to domestic steelmaking jobs as well as jobs throughout the raw materials supply chain, was authored by Representatives Mo Brooks (R-AL), Mark Critz (D-PA) and Tim Ryan (D-OH). The legislation must now be considered by the full House of Representatives, which will occur as early as next week. The Brooks-Critz-Ryan Amendment was strongly supported by the United Steelworkers, the Alliance for American Manufacturing, Allegheny Technologies Inc., ArcelorMittal, and Nucor.