Steel industry consultant Becky E. Hites of Steel-Insights LLC is running for the United States House of Representatives in the Atlanta area district in which she lives.
Hites is running in Georgia’s 13th District, which includes all of Douglas County and parts of Cobb, Clayton, Fayette, Henry and Fulton counties. Her path to Congress will include a primary contest against fellow Republican Caesar Gonzales and, if she wins that, a contest likely to be against incumbent Democrat David Scott.
Hites says the health of the manufacturing sector will be a priority for her if elected. She names former Nucor Corp. CEO Dan DiMicco as a mentor and kindred spirit when it comes to trade policies and other issues affecting industrial production in the U.S.
“My life’s work has been dedicated to the growth and financing of industrial business within the steel, mining and manufacturing industries,” Hites tells Recycling Today. “I’ve experienced the benefits of the free market system and have been fighting for a fair and balanced trade environment on the coattails of retired Nucor chairman Mr. Dan DiMicco for decades.”
DiMicco has served as an advisor to President Donald J. Trump during and after his 2016 campaign, and currently serves as chair of the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA), which describes itself as a non-profit organization “working for a new and positive U.S. trade policy that delivers prosperity and security to America, its citizens, farms, factories and working people.”
The CPA, which says it represents “4.1 million households,” was founded in 2007 in part to mobilize against trade policies and agreements it says “were not resulting in the export opportunities promised” while also whittling away at domestic market share for U.S.-based manufacturers and farmers.
The CPA, like President Trump, has been particularly critical of 21st century trading patterns with China, and most recently successfully lobbied the U.S. Customs & Border Protection agency (CBP) to continue collecting tariffs on inbound Chinese goods.
Hites says the clientele of her Steel-Insights LLC consultancy “is global, and I perform analysis for businesses in the U.S. but also for international companies interested in doing business in the U.S. and globally, ethically and according to the rules.”
She states, “Capitalism is the most effective, and in my opinion the only acceptable, economic system that empowers its citizens and promotes creativity through return on risk-taking and capital investment. It’s an empowering system rather than many alternative systems being touted today that strip the rights of their citizens and impoverishes them.”
Campaigning in the COVID-19 environment has entailed considerable adjustments, says Hites. “No longer can you go door to door in neighborhoods or have rallies of people in large groups to get our message out. This will require it to be a very expensive campaign where mail, radio, social media and more free media will become critical mediums to interact with our constituents.”
According to Hites, “Going against an 18-year incumbent [is] going to be challenging,” but she says a boost of optimism has been added in the form of 24-year veteran campaign strategist Gregory Fournier of Florida-based Envisage Public Relations.
Hites tells Recycling Today that if elected to Congress from Georgia’s 13th District, “My intent is to seek appointments to the Energy & Commerce and Infrastructure & Transportation committees, as I believe that’s where my expertise would be best utilized.”