Washington, D.C. — Congressman Mike Bost (IL-12) hosted Deputy U.S. Trade Representative and Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Michael Punke in his Washington, D.C., office for a discussion on trade issues, illegal steel dumping, and its impact on the temporary idling of 2,080 employees at Granite City Works. Bost’s meeting, which included Congressmen John Shimkus (IL-15) and Rodney Davis (IL-13), comes on the heels of a letter the delegation sent to the White House this week demanding a crackdown on the illegal trade practices that are destroying U.S. steel jobs.
“There’s no better way to deliver a message than by looking folks in the eyes and sharing the concerns of your district,” said Rep. Bost. “That’s why I was pleased to welcome Mr. Punke to my office where I could share the impact that illegal trade practices have had on the steelworkers in Southern Illinois. The Administration must do a better job of upholding our current trade laws to prevent similar situations in the future. Hopefully this meeting will allow us to continue an open dialogue with the Administration on these and other issues negatively impacting hardworking families, our communities and the economy in Southern Illinois.”
During the meeting, Rep. Bost spoke of the need to address the ever changing methods and strategies certain countries use to evade our trade laws and pushed Ambassador Punke on the Obama Administration’s plans to implement these into trade agreements.
Rep. Bost also met with elected officials in Madison County directly impacted by the temporary idling.
Rep. Bost then drafted a letter to the Obama Administration requesting to meet with the Trade Representative to address reasons behind the plant’s temporarily idling.