Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Mike Bost (IL-12) was joined by Sen. Mark Kirk, Rep. John Shimkus (IL-15), and Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13) in sending a letter to President Obama urging a face-to-face meeting with the United States Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce to discuss illegal foreign trade practices harming the domestic steel industry.  Last month, U.S. Steel announced plans to temporarily idle its Granite City Works facility, affecting 2,080 Southern Illinois steelworkers.

“After U.S. Steel announced it would temporarily idle its facility in Granite City, leaving more than 2,000 Southern Illinois steelworkers out of work, I immediately met with company officials and local steelworkers to ensure that these temporary layoffs would be as short as possible,” said Rep. Bost.  “But if we want to minimize the risk of a similar idling in the future, we must address the reasons behind it.  While illegal trade practices are not the only factors negatively impacting the marketplace, they’re a primary factor.  I’m pleased my colleagues in the Illinois delegation have joined me in urging the federal government to do a better job of upholding the letter and the spirit of our trade laws.”

In addition to unfair trade practices, U.S. Steel executives cited other global influences in the marketplace – such as reduced steel prices and fluctuating oil prices – as contributing factors in the idling of Granite City Works.

To view the letter sent to President Obama by the Illinois Delegation, click here.