As US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the imposition of 25% steel tariffs on the EU, Canada and Mexico today, it was, understandably, only the American steel trade associations that had something nice to say the Section 232 tariffs.

Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), commented: “On behalf of the US producers of AISI, we thank the president for his actions to ensure a strong American steel sector that is fundamental to our national and economic security. The US producers of AISI fully support the administration’s position that any country that is granted an exemption from the tariffs must be subject to a quota, in order to safeguard against the exempt country becoming a conduit for trade diversion, transshipment and import surges. We look forward to additional details on how the exemption for Australia will further the objectives of Section 232. The president wants the industry to achieve 80% or more capacity utilisation over the long-term. We wholeheartedly agree. We believe the NAFTA discussions should continue as they can be a basis for ensuring use of more NAFTA steel while achieving the objectives of the Section 232 remedies.

“The president’s trade actions have already begun putting steel workers back to work in Ohio and Illinois, and we are grateful for the administration’s commitment to the nearly two million jobs supported by the domestic steel industry.”