Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) believes record levels of foreign-made steel is an issue that is as serious “as it has ever been” in Indiana. He blames undervalued global currencies and so-called “dumping” tactics by countries such as China, India, Japan and South Korea that are flooding the American market. He is calling for tougher enforcement of trade laws to combat the situation. During an interview on Inside INdiana Business, Donnelly says 3,000 jobs in Indiana, mainly in the northwest part of the state, have already been lost. He is pushing for lawmakers to help strengthen the enforcement mechanisms available to groups such as the quasi-judicial U.S. International Trade Commission.
The goal of his efforts is to “level the playing field” for U.S. companies. He calls himself a “strong believer in trade,” but says it must be fair both ways.
Donnelly believes without the losses being absorbed by steelmakers in the state, Indiana would have returned in April to its peak employment level that dates back to March of 2000. He says he's like to see wages rise along with the unemployment level and is suggesting more efforts focusing on training right out of high school.
During his recent interview with Gerry Dick, Donnelly says the state still has “an awful lot of work” left in order to bridge the skills gap.