Today, Congressman Pete Visclosky testified before the U.S. International Trade Commission during their sunset hearing concerning countervailing duties from Turkey and antidumping duties from Brazil, India, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey on certain types of welded pipe and tube. Congressman Visclosky exhorted the Commission to maintain the duties in order to strengthen American steel, preserve American manufacturing, and ensure America's economic competitiveness in the future.
Visclosky's testimony, as prepared for delivery, is below.
I would like to thank Chairman Okun, Vice Chairman Williamson, and all of the members of the Commission for the opportunity to provide testimony on this important hearing involving countervailing duties from Turkey and antidumping duties from Brazil, India, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey on certain types of welded pipe and tube. I deeply appreciate your sincere efforts in this case and in all your initiatives to enforce our trade laws.
As you are well aware, these duties have been in place for some time, and have most recently been extended in June of 2007. There are approximately 1,500 American workers involved in the production of these pipes and tubes right now, and they depend on our trade laws to compete and succeed in this global economy. As our fragile economy is beginning to recover, now is a critical time to ensure that these workers are able to provide their products to American infrastructure and energy projects. Therefore, I urge you to maintain these duties and determine that their revocation would lead to the continuation or recurrence of material injury to the U.S. industry.
I also would add that Chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus Tim Murphy and I will be gathering signatures from other Members of the Steel Caucus for a forthcoming letter on this case that will express the same sentiment.
From a larger economic perspective, I remain adamant that manufacturing is the key driver of our economy, and we must do everything possible to ensure that our manufacturing base remains strong. Currently, less than 10 percent of the nation's workforce is employed in manufacturing, and I would point out that in 1970 over 25 percent of our workforce was in manufacturing. As a percentage of GDP, the numbers are very similar. In 1970, American manufacturing as a percentage of GDP was around 23 percent, now it is around 12 percent. From a global perspective, in 1970, the U.S. had about a 28 percent share of the global manufacturing economy, today we are less than 20 percent, just behind China.
I firmly believe that manufacturing drives innovation. If you stop manufacturing a product in the United States, it is only a matter of time before the engineering and research and development responsible for the product moves overseas. What incentive will there be for our children to become engineers and scientists and researchers in American manufacturing when all of the manufacturing is performed overseas? This is a precarious situation. We must act now to preserve American manufacturing before it is too late, and I encourage you to do so by ensuring that these duties continue.
I thank you again for your fair and thorough consideration of this case, and again appreciate the opportunity to provide testimony to you today.