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Steel-related bill to benefit Ohio
by Joe Cogliano, Senior Reporter
Thursday, February 9, 2012

A proposed new law would require steel purchased by the U.S. military to be completely made in America.

On Thursday, six senators including U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, introduced legislation that would restore a decades old rule requiring that steel purchased by the U.S. military be both melted and finished in the U.S.

Brown said the rule was overturned by the Department of Defense    in 2009, meaning that armor plate melted in foreign countries could be imported, subjected to simple finishing processes in the U.S. and then be deemed to have been produced domestically.

“We know how to make steel armor plate here in America, and there’s no reason why countries like China and Russia should be making our military’s vehicles and equipment,” Brown said. “A loophole in Defense Department regulations allows foreign companies to melt steel, then ship it to the United States for simple finishing processes, which jeopardizes the American steel industry.”

If aproved, the bill could provide a boost to domestic steelmakers, including those operations locally.

With several thousand employees in the Dayton region, West Chester-based AK Steel    is one of the largest employers in the area. The U.S. Military employs more than 27,000 active-duty and civilian workers in Dayton at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base    .

Other sponsors of the bill include U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D- New York, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, U.S. Sen Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr., D- Pennsylvania, and U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D- Minnesota.

Read this and other articles at the Dayton Business Journal

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