Tyler Pipe Jobs In Jeopardy

Tyler Pipe employees grabbed their pens and signed petitions today to beg the White House to save their jobs.

In China, factories produce the same pipes made here at Tyler pipe for a lot less. The reason: they don't face the same regulations. As a result all of the jobs here could be going over there.

"Everyone needs a good job," says Nathaniel Fields, a Tyler Pipe Employee. "Just because we are down here in a small part of the country it doesn't mean we are any different than any place else."

The 61 year old has worked at Tyler Pipe for 42 years and doesn't want to lose his job. But he's not just worried about himself or the hundreds of other employees there. He's worried about the impact losing these jobs could have on you. So is Congressman Max Sandlin.

"Losing 500 jobs will have over a 200 million dollar impact on the Tyler economy. If that happens people won't be able to buy cars, go to the store, they can't pay for homes, and we lose tax benefits," says Congressman Sandlin.

Congressman Sandlin says the Federal Trade Commission urged the White House months ago to issue the sanctions, but it refused.

"I think they made a terrible mistake and it shows a lack of priorities," Congressman Sandlin.

Some opponents of sanctions say cheaper steal and iron from China spurs on the economy, particularly construction. But Tom Mullins of the economic development council says East Texas would be much better off with Tyler Pipe jobs staying here.

"You never want to lose jobs in the manufacturing sector because they contribute so much. They help the tax base, retail, education, the medical field. It effects everybody when you lose these jobs," says Mullins.

Michelle Mortensen, reporting