IAM Union Applauds Biden Administration’s Bold Actions to Protect U.S. Shipbuilding, Steel Workers from China’s Unfair Practices

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2024 – The 600,000-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is applauding the Biden-Harris administration’s historic actions to protect U.S. shipbuilding and steel manufacturing workers, including launching a U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) investigation into China’s unfair trade practices in shipbuilding.

The actions are the result of a petition filed by the IAM and four other unions calling on the USTR to initiate an investigation of Chinese commercial shipbuilding.

Over the past two decades, the People’s Republic of China has enacted a comprehensive strategy to dominate global transportation and logistics networks, including employing an array of non-market policies. Meanwhile, U.S. shipbuilding capacity continues to diminish.

The IAM represents thousands of members in the shipbuilding and steel industries, including at Bath Iron Works in Maine and Cleveland-Cliffs in Ohio.

“The Biden Administration rightfully knows that the decline of American shipyards and steel manufacturing is about more than just jobs – it weakens our national defense,” said IAM International President Brian Bryant, who began his career as an IAM Local S6 shipbuilder at Bath Iron Works. “These robust actions by the Biden Administration, aimed at curtailing Chinese unfair trade practices in these vital industries, are a strong step toward giving American workers a level playing field.”

The Biden Administration’s actions include:

  • The USTR is initiating an investigation into China’s unfair trade practices in the shipbuilding, maritime and logistics sectors.
  • Calling on the USTR to triple the existing 301 tariff rate on Chinese steel and aluminum tariffs to 7.5%.
  • Investing in clean American-made steel, such as a $500 million Department of Energy grant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the IAM-represented Cleveland-Cliffs facility in Middletown, Ohio.


The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is among the largest unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in the manufacturing, aerospace, defense, airlines, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking, health care, and other industries. 


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