Rep. Dan Forestal’s plan to help American, Hoosier steel rejected by House GOP

March 27, 2017 Dan Forestal

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Republicans today rejected an effort by State Rep. Dan Forestal (D-Indianapolis) and House Democrats to encourage the continued growth of the American steel industry in our state.

By a party-line margin, the House Republicans voted down an amendment offered by Forestal that would have provided an exemption of up to $1,000 from Indiana’s gross retail tax on any transaction involving an American steel product. The amendment was offered to Senate Bill 515.

“Indiana is one of the largest steel-producing states in the nation, one that employs thousands of Hoosiers with good-paying jobs,” Forestal said. “The steel industry has provided stability, tax revenue, employment, and support to communities across this state. Indiana has the sixth-most jobs supported by domestic steel production of all states. You certainly can state that steel built this country – furthermore, that Indiana steel built this country – and it would be difficult to argue otherwise.

“That in mind, it is important to note that our country’s steel industry is under siege,” he added. “China and a number of other foreign countries have flooded our market with steel produced overseas, and the concerns over profits are taking precedence over support for our country and its workers. Even President Trump has noticed this disparity, and has spoken about the need for this country to show its support for the American steel industry. What a shame to find out he has done nothing to back up those remarks, and we find out that the steel for things like the Keystone pipeline will come from foreign countries like Russia.

“Of course, we need to do more to benefit an industry that has done so much for us. My proposal offered a good first step in restoring confidence in American and Hoosier steel, and I simply cannot believe that the House Republicans chose to simply say no,” Forestal concluded.