A group of over 300 US manufacturing companies sent a letter to President Joe Biden May 6 requesting an immediate end to the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs originally implemented in 2018 under former President Donald Trump.
“Manufacturers in the US currently face historic shortages of readily available and globally priced steel and aluminum products at a time when the country is relying on our sector to help drive the economy and overcome the unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the group said in the letter.
“Without termination of the tariffs, this situation will worsen if Washington moves forward with an infrastructure bill to invest in America, as these projects will create more strain on domestic steel and aluminum supplies, causing delays in construction and risking manufacturing jobs.”
Though the Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated the creation of 4,800 US steel industry jobs since 2018, the group of manufacturers said the jobs are not all directly attributable to the tariffs, and 6.2 million American manufacturing jobs in steel- and aluminum-using industries are now at risk.
“It is businesses manufacturing in America such as ours who pay the tariffs on imports, and it is our businesses and employees who suffer when our product cannot compete with overseas manufacturers because the US is an island of high steel and aluminum prices,” the letter further stated.
The Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users, one of the industry organizations that organized the letter, said tariffs are hampering US companies from success in the post-pandemic era.
“The tariff-driven drag on manufacturing companies across the US threatens to limit their ability to participate in a post-COVID economic revitalization, stifling their prospects for growth and limiting the upside for the families and communities across America that are sustained by the sector,” CAMMU said in a separate statement.
— Nick Lazzaro