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AISI against Chinese plate in NY bridge

Jun 26, 2013 | 05:19 PM |

Tags  American Iron and Steel Institute, New York Metropolitan transportation Authority, Verrazano-Narrows bridge reconstruction, Chinese steel plate, Tutor Perini, Thomas Gibson, Leo Gerard, Diane Savino Nicole Malliotakis

CHICAGO — The American Iron and Steel Institute has written to New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) asking its leadership to reconsider the planned use of Chinese-produced and -fabricated steel decking in its reconstruction of a New York City bridge.

The MTA awarded last fall the $235.7-million Verrazano-Narrows Bridge repair project to Sylmar, Calif.-based contractor Tutor Perini Corp., which subcontracted the manufacture of roughly 15,000 tons of steel plate to China (, June 21).

"At a time when our nation remains in a recovery from high unemployment and economic recession, we cannot afford to ship American manufacturing jobs overseas," AISI president and chief executive officer Thomas Gibson said in a June 26 letter to the MTA.

"Sourcing 15,000 tons of steel from China for repairs on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is particularly offensive, as the vast majority of Chinese steel companies are government-owned and -controlled and heavily subsidized," he said. "In addition, the Chinese government deliberately engages in unfair trading practices like currency manipulation to give Chinese exports an unfair competitive advantage. We urge you to reconsider the decision."

The taxpayers of New York who cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge "should not be forced to have their toll dollars go toward improving the economy of China when American manufacturing needs their support," Gibson concluded.

AISI’s objections echo those of United Steelworkers union president Leo Gerard, New York Sen. Diane J. Savino and New York Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who registered similar concerns last week.

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