WASHINGTON – Sen. Amy Klobuchar led a group of senators in urging President Donald Trump to tell Chinese President Xi Jinping that illegally dumping steel in the U.S. is unacceptable.
Trump met with Xi at Mar-a-Lago in Florida last week to discuss North Korea's nuclear threat and trade issues.
Trump recently signed an executive order to crack down on foreign interests flooding American markets with cheap, undervalued goods. Much of the Chinese steel is subsidized by the government, furthering those manufacturers' advantages when they skirt trade laws.
"We desperately need stronger enforcement against foreign competitors who cheat," the letter said.
Klobuchar's letter was signed by fellow Senate Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters of Michigan, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.
White House trade policies have heavy ramifications for the Iron Range, which swung for Trump and is home to workers who have been laid off amid a flood of foreign steel. The letter noted that 13,600 Americans have lost their jobs during the recent downturn in the steel industry, and that domestic companies have suffered billions of dollars in losses.
Chinese steel produced with unfair practices "has profoundly harmful impacts on our national economic health and our nation's national security interests," the senators wrote.
"We encourage you to build on the progress that has been made to address unprecedented global steel overcapacity and unfair practices," the letter concluded.