CHICAGO — Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton Wednesday night charged her GOP counterpart, Donald Trump, of using Chinese steel and aluminum in building his namesake towers.
Clinton appeared to have been referring to a Newsweek investigation that said that Trump used metals unfairly "dumped" on the U.S. in his structures, including in buildings in Chicago and Las Vegas.
In Chicago, Trump used Permasteelisa Cladding Technologies Ltd, a Connecticut-based company that imports steel from its affiliated companies in China, Newsweek said.
The Newsweek report said: "During the time of the Trump Chicago construction, according to documents filed with the United States Court of International Trade by the Department of Justice and the Department of Commerce, Permasteelisa was dumping aluminum used in curtain walls, meaning it was using predatory pricing to sell the products below the cost of production or the amount charged in China."
The report said the Chicago's Trump Tower has a "curtain wall" made of 11,500 glass panels framed with 207,000 feet of aluminum. Newsweek acknowledges "tracing the metal back to China is a difficult process" but uses documents to link the Trump project to the imports.
It also says what Trump did was not illegal but estimates that the decision cost American companies about $350 million.
Trump's campaign did not comment on the story.
On the campaign trail Trump has used the American steel and aluminum industry's struggles as an example of bad trade deals, saying the situation "is essentially killing our steel workers."
Wednesday night, Clinton said, "One of the biggest problems we have with China is the illegal dumping of steel and aluminum into our markets. I have fought against that as a senator. I’ve stood up against it as secretary of state."
Trump "has bought Chinese steel and aluminum," she said. "In fact, the Trump Hotel right here in Las Vegas was made with Chinese steel. So he goes around with crocodile tears about how terrible it is, but he has given jobs to Chinese steelworkers, not American steelworkers."
Responded Trump: "For 30 years, you’ve been in a position to help, and if you say that I use steel or I use something else, I — make it impossible for me to do that. I wouldn’t mind. The problem is, you talk, but you don’t get anything done, Hillary. You don’t."
The AFL-CIO union said the dumped steel was sold for “below the cost of production or the amount charged in China.”
"This means American aluminum companies couldn’t possibly compete with foreign companies willing to take losses on the sales of their building materials in hopes of driving companies in the United States out of business. Patriotic," the union said on its site.
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