U.S. senators condemn use of Chinese steel for N.Y. bridge project

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 7/17/2013

A pair of U.S. senators say the New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority should avoid awarding bids to steel companies from China that have an unfair advantage over U.S. companies.

The MTA raised the ire of the United Steelworkers earlier this month when it awarded a $235 million contract to Chinese-owned Ansteel to rebuild the deck of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

The steelworkers called the deal a “kick in the teeth” earlier this month, and said their bids cannot possibly compete with companies subsidized by governments.

Ansteel, full name Angang Steel Co., is supervised by the Chinese government and is the country’s second-largest steel maker.

The MTA defends the deal, saying a U.S. company doing the same work would have cost $100 million more.

U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, sent a letter to the MTA on July 11, condemning the deal.

“State-owned enterprises like Ansteel have an unfair, artificial, competitive advantage against American firms, and in the future the MTA should change its processes to account for this unfair advantage, and do everything in its power to avoid purchasing from these companies – especially when there is an upstate company waiting in the wings who potentially could provide the same service,” Schumer stated in the letter.

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