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house Bill H.R. 1543

Should the Southern Border Wall Be Built with U.S. Steel?

Argument in favor

Despite President Trump’s protective tariffs, the U.S. steel industry still hasn’t become significantly stronger, and jobs in it haven’t grown as hoped for. Incorporating U.S. steel into the border wall will help the U.S. steel industry grow stronger by boosting its revenue.

Raymond 's Opinion
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06/06/2019
Again this is a dumb question. Who comes up with these questions???? Of course it should come from America. Made in America. MAGA. I just read some of the opposition on here. Wow you all are angry people. You really should look into a mirror when you say something like you are. You are VERY HATEFUL PEOPLE.
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David's Opinion
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06/06/2019
Yes, this is an ideal scenario. Protecting the American economy while investing in it by using US steel.
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Joan's Opinion
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06/06/2019
That would be ideal but build it anyway it can get done. Stop the disease & crime from getting in. Protect US citizens. Have legal immigration. Get to work congress.
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Argument opposed

It’s already going to be expensive and difficult enough to build the southern border wall. Requiring that it be built with U.S. steel — without knowing if that will be affordable or feasible — might endanger the odds of the wall’s construction itself, which isn’t worth the risk.

IllWill's Opinion
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06/06/2019
Forget the racist wall! Use that steel to rebuild our infrastructure that’s falling apart in this country!
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Kimberly 's Opinion
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06/06/2019
The racist wall should not be built at all.
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Cynthia's Opinion
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06/07/2019
No ugly Trump wall! I don’t want to live in a country with a wall. Especially the United States of America!!!
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedMarch 5th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1543?

This bill — the American Workers for Security Act of 2019 — would mandate that any barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border be made of U.S.-produced steel.

Impact

Steel industry; steel workers; and the southern border wall.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1543

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Pete Stauber (R-MN) introduced this bill to mandate that any barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border be made of U.S.-produced steel:

“American workers have the capability of producing strong and durable steel that meets all of our security, infrastructure, and manufacturing needs. Unfortunately, for too long, unfair trade deals have forced us to rely on foreign nations for steel. We cannot afford to continue to outsource an industry as vital to our national security as steel, so I was proud to introduce the American Workers for Security Act to ensure a project as large and important as the construction of the barrier at the southern border is done with steel made from iron ore and taconite mined right here in northern Minnesota.”

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) supports this bill:

“AISI is pleased to support Rep. Stauber’s bill, the American Workers for Security Act. The legislation appropriately recognizes that any potential barrier at the U.S. southern border should be made of steel that has been produced in the United States. Not only is steel readily available, its strength and durability make it the preferred material of choice for most uses -- including a barrier structure. The legislation is consistent with long standing policies that all of the iron and steel used in federally-funded infrastructure projects must be produced in the United States. The steel industry stands prepared and is more than able to provide the steel needed in any construction of a barrier.”

In January 2019, the New York Times reported that President Trump has “latched on to the idea of using steel” to build his promised southern border wall, fulfilling two campaign promises — keeping out illegal immigrants and boosting a struggling industry — at once. In January, Trump claimed the steel industry is already benefiting from his presidency, saying, “They were doing were poorly when I took office, and now they’re doing very well. Our steel industry was dying, and now it’s very vibrant.” Furthermore, he claimed in a tweet that “our steel industry is the talk of the world. It has been given new life, and is thriving.”

However, the truth is more complicated, as the Trump administration’s 25% tariff on steel imports, announced in March 2018, haven’t had the desired effect of pushing steel prices up. As of January 2019, steel prices had returned to pre-tariff levels. Hiring in the steel sector remains stagnant, in part because new mills are increasingly automated. Even with several mills’ opening and restarting in 2018, direct steel industry employment was four percent lower (at 146,300 jobs)  in November 2018 as compared to November 2014.

John J. Ferriola, chief executive of Nucor Steel, believes the steel industry is on solid footing thanks to tailwinds from Trump’s steel tariffs, a strong economy, tax cuts, and Obama-era anti-dumping measures:

“There’s a lot of doomsday talk about the tariffs and a lot of misinformation. I keep hearing about how it is driving down demand and putting our customers out of business. We had a record year last year, and many of our customers also had a record year.”

The New York Times argues that the steel industry’s best hope for a “meaningful lift” would be Trump and Congress joining together to pass major infrastructure legislation to keep U.S. steel mills chuning. However, with this type of legislation unlikely amid partisan gridlock in D.C., the Times reports that “some are hanging their hopes on the possibility of a border wall built with steel slats” or steel-reinforced concrete. Of this prospect, Ferriola says, “If they decide to build a barrier and decide to make it out of steel, the industry stands ready and capable and more than able to provide the steel and assist in the construction.”

This bill has nine bipartisan cosponsors, including eight Republicans and one Democrat.


Of NoteThis bill was introduced after Congress appropriated $1.375 billion to build a physical barrier on 55 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. This money can be used for “bollard fencing,” which consists of a series of steel poles erected close enough together to prevent entry but far enough apart to allow Border Patrol agents to see what’s happening on the other side. Effectively, bollard fencing is the same as the “steel slats” that Trump has referred to.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / SlobodanMiljevic)

AKA

American Workers for Security Act of 2019

Official Title

To require the procurement of iron and steel products from American sources, and for other purposes.

    Again this is a dumb question. Who comes up with these questions???? Of course it should come from America. Made in America. MAGA. I just read some of the opposition on here. Wow you all are angry people. You really should look into a mirror when you say something like you are. You are VERY HATEFUL PEOPLE.
    Like (100)
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    Forget the racist wall! Use that steel to rebuild our infrastructure that’s falling apart in this country!
    Like (249)
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    It shouldn’t be built period.
    Like (130)
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    The racist wall should not be built at all.
    Like (121)
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    It shouldn’t be built at all.
    Like (91)
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    No ugly Trump wall! I don’t want to live in a country with a wall. Especially the United States of America!!!
    Like (80)
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    It shouldn't be built at all.
    Like (69)
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    NO wall with my money.
    Like (62)
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    Forget the racist wall! Use that steel to rebuild our infrastructure that’s falling apart in this country!
    Like (60)
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    Ending the war on drugs and welfare programs solves the issue at the border and saves a truckload of money
    Like (49)
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    The southern border wall should not be built at all.
    Like (44)
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    There will be no wall, so why is this even a question? Now, if we’re maintaining what we already have, what idiot would use any other steel but American steel? Only a Dump lover would even ask this question. If ANY job is financed by the American taxpayers money, we should ALWAYS use American suppliers, unless the cost and quality is considerably substandard compared to a foreign supplier! We should never choose an American company that rips us off, like Cheney did and, I believe, is still doing? Now there’s a man who should have been in jail for all the ways he’s screwed us. Instead, we gave the old, f’n bastard a heart! He was given a heart that should have gone to someone worthy. Not that unAmerican, bastard thief! All contractors should be vetted by an independent agency before awarded a job to see what time and materials they will be using. Obviously, that is not how it is being done.
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    It shouldn’t be built at all, whether with American Steel or styrofoam packing peanuts. It’s a symbol of mindless xenophobia and bigotry, which also embarrassingly happens to define my Congressional representatives’ worldview. Where’s the hand-wringing for illegal border crossings from Canada? Such idiocy.
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    The border wall must go down in history as the UNBUILT Nazi wet dream of the traitor masquerading as our current president. #ImpeachTheMotherfucker
    Like (34)
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    Yes, this is an ideal scenario. Protecting the American economy while investing in it by using US steel.
    Like (32)
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    Trick question. It shouldn’t be built at all. Security at the border should be built of cyber ware, drones, people, lawyers, caseworkers, immigration judges, teachers, Border Control, humanitarians, and housing.
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    The border wall should not be built. Period. We are not East Germany.
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    You shouldn’t be building it at all. However, if you absolutely must defile our country with that racist xenophobic monument to bigotry, steal as little of my tax money as possible. What a utter waste of time. No wall.
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    It should NOT be built....period.....And, it is absolutely beyond despicable that they are trying to sell this as good for the economy and will give steel workers a job.....Workers whose forefathers were....IMMIGRANTS!
    Like (27)
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    That would be ideal but build it anyway it can get done. Stop the disease & crime from getting in. Protect US citizens. Have legal immigration. Get to work congress.
    Like (26)
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