The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Steel imports drop:
Where are the jobs?

Nov 17, 2003

The U.S. Commerce Department recently said that steel imports into the U.S. dropped during the first nine months of 2003, compared to the same period last year.

This drop is supposed to be the result of tariffs imposed on foreign steel by the Bush administration last year. The United Steel Workers Union had joined the steel companies in asking Bush to impose tariffs, claiming that reducing the flow of foreign steel would save the jobs of U.S. steel workers.

So what happened when imports went down?

Domestic steel production did not increase – but it didn't go down either. The only thing that went down was the number of jobs – they decreased by over 5% compared to last year.

So what cost the jobs this time? Imports? No. Cutbacks in production? No.

Just good old-fashioned American-style profit-making by corporations who try to squeeze more work out of fewer workers.

People who tell us we have to worry about "foreign competition" help no one but the American bosses who take our jobs.