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An ambitious wish list from AISI


The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) is pushing for a broad but familiar range of trade, tax and regulatory reforms targeted to stimulate domestic manufacturing.

In a statement accompanying the release of the document, Thomas Gibson, AISI president and chief executive officer, said the wide-ranging agenda represents an
effort to “strengthen the manufacturing base” and create jobs.

To that end, the AISI is calling for numerous reforms relating to clean-power initiatives, greenhouse gas protocols for utilities and automobiles, and workplace safety rules—all of which burden manufacturing with too much expense, the organization argues.

In its 2017 public policy agenda, the Washington-based trade association also urged the federal government to increase infrastructure spending and support energy exploration and pipeline construction.

Predictably, the AISI’s agenda is heavily weighted toward more aggressive trade enforcement, especially with regard to foreign dumping and subsidization of imports on the part of China and other nations.

Other items the AISI has called for in its 2017 “wish list” include:
• The reduction by Congress of the corporate income tax to 15 percent or 20 percent, the elimination of the corporate alternative minimum tax and the adoption of accelerated depreciation and full expensing of capital expenditures.

• Legislators take steps to insure steel-sector pollution rules are non-experimental and the federal government provides the industry enough time to analyze its own data and to review the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) risk assumptions

• Washington insures the completion of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. Both projects have received the support of President Trump.

• Congress focus its public infrastructure spending on multi-year projects and provide reliable long-term funding. Buy America domestic preferences must be preserved, the AISI’s policy agenda specifies. “Any infrastructure plan should require that all iron and steel used to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure is produced in the United States,” the AISI stressed.

• Reduced workplace-safety regulations and a more collaborative relationship with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)— without the “adversarial approach to enforcement and public shaming.” Additionally, the steel trade group called for enactment of the Voluntary Protection Program and repealing a list of Obama-era rules. “This list includes the final MSHA rule on safety examinations at metal/nonmetal mining operations and the OSHA rule on ongoing recordkeeping obligations for employers,” the AISI noted.

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