The Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Feb. 10 calling for an immediate end to Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, saying the tariffs imposed under former President Donald Trump have hurt the metalworking industry.
Difficult for U.S. manufacturers to compete with global rivals
The group said it is pleased with Biden’s Jan. 25 executive order to strengthen “Buy America” and other “Made in America” programs, which among other things mandate that American steel be used in federally funded projects, but with existing tariffs and a “broken” exclusion process, it is difficult for U.S. manufacturers to compete with global rivals.
Domestic steel industry customers threatened by tariffs
“The domestic steel industry, which believes the tariffs should remain in place, fails to understand that, without US steel-consuming manufacturers to buy their steel products, any misperceived advantage derived from the tariffs will be useless if their customers go out of business because of high steel prices and lack of supply,” the letter states.
Crisis for steel and aluminum consuming manufacturers in the U.S.
The 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imposed by former President Donald Trump in March 2018 “contributing to a crisis for US steel- and aluminum-consuming manufacturers just as these companies are needed to help the country recover from the economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the group added.
Domestic plants at record prices and long lead times
CAMMU said its members are facing record steel prices as well as long delivery times from domestic mills, causing significant disruptions.
Overcapacity in steel will not be reduced by tariffs
At the same time, the group said the tariffs left global structural supply issues unaddressed, as international talks to reduce overcapacity were negatively impacted by the tariffs.
CAMMU: Immediately end Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs
“It’s time for the US to put counterproductive trade policies in the past,” CAMMU said.
“We ask that you move at once to terminate the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs and focus instead on re-engaging with our trading partners on a coordinated response to address the root cause of global oversupply in steel and aluminum: excess capacity in China.”
CAMMU represents more than 30,000 companies
CAMMU, which represents more than 30,000 manufacturing and downstream supply chain companies, was formed in the wake of the Section 232 metal tariffs to oppose the trade measure.
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