April 26, 2023

Manchin Questions Commerce Secretary on Delivering Broadband to West Virginia and Enforcing Fair Trade Practices

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, questioned the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo about securing funds through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s middle-mile connectivity program to ensure access to broadband in the mountainous areas of West Virginia. Senator Manchin also pressed the Secretary on concerns over Chinese-owned companies engaging in market-distorting practices that disadvantage US businesses.

On ensuring access to high-speed broadband in rural West Virginia:

“In West Virginia, as a result of our beautiful mountains and rugged terrain, we have a hard time deploying last mile broadband. The Middle Mile program funding would solve a lot of problems because our cost is much higher for us to reach our citizens than it is in flatter terrain. How are you getting that funding deployed?” Senator Manchin said.

On enforcing fair trade practices and supporting West Virginia businesses:

“Several years ago, a Chinese firm bought British Steel out of insolvency. Since that time, steel producers in the U.S. have repeatedly expressed concerns regarding what subsidies it might be receiving. What actions is the Department taking to minimize the effects of transshipment and dumping practices utilized by the Chinese government?” Senator Manchin questioned. “Because I have a company in my state called West Virginia Steel, which would be happy to give you all the information they have about the unfair competition they're receiving from them.”

A video of Senator Manchin questioning the Secretary can be found here.