Seven leading groups representing the domestic steel industry and labour in the USA have urged President Joe Biden to ensure steel tariffs, put in place in 2018 to protect national security, are preserved.
The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), United Steelworkers union (USW), Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), The Committee on Pipe and Tube Imports (CPTI), Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA), American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), today wrote to President Biden stating, “Eliminating the steel tariffs now would undermine the viability of [the American steel] industry. Opponents of the steel tariffs argue that they should be eliminated to increase supply, given the current environment of rising prices and long lead times. This ignores the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented, but temporary, challenges to global supply chains in many industries—including lumber, semiconductors, concrete, agricultural products and cleaning products—as manufacturers respond to rapid and unpredictable shifts in customer demand and logistical difficulties. The same is true for steel.”
"The tariffs are providing a fairer and more level playing field, creating the market stability needed for companies to invest in the future of the domestic steel industry, including a significant amount of new steelmaking capacity that has come on line very recently."A quote from the letter.
The groups note that: “domestic steel supply is responding to market signals.” Steel production has increased by more than 50% in the last year and steel mill employment has increased by nearly 3,000 since September. The groups also state that, since the tariffs took effect, American steel producers have announced plans to invest more than $15.7 billion in new or upgraded facilities.
Philip K Bell, president of the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA) commented: "The administration has a choice. It can regress to the failed policies of the past that lead to subsidies and global excess steel capacity by China and other countries around the globe, or it can leave the tariffs in place while it collaborates with industry, labour and our allies to find a workable path forward. The tariffs have resulted in increases in capacity utilization and investments that will modernize the American steel industry, preserve jobs and lead to more sustainable steelmaking. A fact, that often goes unrecognized, is the tariffs have dramatically reduced the amount of high CO2 emitting foreign steel that comes to our shores.”
"A fact, that often goes unrecognized, is the tariffs have dramatically reduced the amount of high CO2 emitting foreign steel that comes to our shores.”Philip K Bell, president, Steel Manufacturers Association.