Biden announces tariffs on Chinese Steel while visiting United Steelworkers members

President Joe Biden speaks at the United Steelworkers headquarters in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

By Sean Kitchen

April 17, 2024

“I’m president because of you guys. I really am and I’m proud. As was mentioned earlier, I’m proud to be the most pro-union president in American history,” President Biden told the union members.

President Joe Biden continued his three-day tour throughout Pennsylvania by visiting members of the United Steelworkers in Pittsburgh where he announced increased tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum imports.

Biden’s visit to Western Pennsylvania comes at a time when US Steel, the country’s oldest steel company, announced that they were selling the company to the Japanese owned Nippon Steel.

“US Steel has been an iconic American company for more than a century, and it should remain a totally American company. American owned, American operated by American union steelworkers – the best in the world,” Biden told the union members.

Biden announced tripling the tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum in order to prevent those foreign imports from being dumped onto the American public and to protect workers. Dumping occurs due to the Chinese government heavily subsidizing their steel and aluminum products, which allows manufacturers to sell the products at a far lower price.

“American steelworkers can out-work, out-compete as long as they have fair competition, but for too long the Chinese government has poured money into steel companies, pushing them to make as much steel as possible subsidized by the Chinese government,” Biden said. “Because Chinese steel companies produce more steel than China needs, it ends up dumping the extra steel on the global market at unfairly low prices.”

Congressman Chris Deluzio (D-Allegheny) applauded Biden’s announcement, calling it a “bold stand for American steel and steelworkers.”

“Western Pennsylvania and our people made the steel that built America, but bad trade policies tried to strip our region for parts and ship our jobs overseas. The President’s tariffs and actions today will help further supercharge our domestic steel industry—especially in regions like ours,” Deluzio said in a statement.

Biden went on to tout his pro-union credentials and accomplishments in front of the steelworkers on Wednesday.

“I’m president because of you guys,” Biden told the union members. “I really am and I’m proud. As was mentioned earlier, I’m proud to be the most pro-union president in American history.”

Biden’s American Rescue Plan has helped preserve the pensions for over 33,000 Pennsylvania workers thanks to the Butch Lewis Act, a provision that funds the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and protects the pensions of more than 33 million workers and retirees.

“Since I was sworn in as president because of you, look at what we’ve achieved together through my American Rescue plan and enacted the Butch Lewis Act, the most significant law for union workers, retirees in 50 years,” Biden said.

“It protected the hard earned pensions for more than 120,000 steelworkers.”


  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.



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