Advocacy at NAFEM: At work for members

In addition to partnering with member companies in its advocacy work, NAFEM also collaborates with other associations to help advance our positions. To further convey our opposition to the tariffs on imported steel and aluminum announced in March, NAFEM joined the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users (CAMMU). In this issue of Advocacy Update, NAFEM talked with Paul Nathanson and Josh Zive of CAMMU about how their work dovetails with efforts by NAFEM and other organizations to convince the administration to eliminate the tariffs.

Manufacturers unite to oppose metal tariffs

Associations of U.S. steel and aluminum-using manufacturers, including NAFEM, have joined forces to form the Coalition of America Metal Manufacturers and Users (CAMMU) which opposes the recently enacted tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

“Our goal is to end the tariffs as quickly as possible,” said Paul Nathanson, senior principal at Bracewell LLP and CAMMU co-leader. “Together, we’re educating the administration about the detrimental effects of the steel and aluminum tariffs on U.S. manufacturing, a sector the President has prioritized and said he wants to protect and grow.”

To achieve this goal, CAMMU co-leader Josh Zive, also a senior principal at Bracewell, is working with Paul and others to implement a comprehensive government relations program, including meetings with members of Congress and the Trump Administration, and an aggressive media relations and social media campaign to elevate awareness of this critical issue that threatens to impact the entire U.S. economy.

“We’re already making progress helping members of Congress understand the effects of the tariffs on downstream U.S. manufacturers,” said Paul. “The negative business impacts that members are seeing, including more than 30 percent price increases and significantly increased delivery times of domestic steel and aluminum, are garnering the attention of important policy influencers in Washington, D.C.”

CAMMU also recently publicized a policy brief by the Trade Partnership showing that 18 American jobs would be lost for every steel/aluminum job gained as a result of the tariffs.

Paul and Josh stressed that a key to this advocacy campaign are business stories that showcase the impact of the tariffs on local companies. CAMMU is publicizing the many unintended consequences of the tariffs. For example, CAMMU has spoken with several NAFEM members to discuss the impact of the tariffs on their businesses. Paul also recently spoke with a coalition of companies that make science kits for schools. These kits include microscopes and other items made of aluminum and steel. The companies are concerned that price increases brought on by the tariffs will increase the cost of the science kits, making them less affordable for schools.

“NAFEM members can help CAMMU’s work by sharing these stories and by reaching out to their elected officials, the Department of Commerce and the White House,” said Paul. It’s important that these people understand how the tariffs are impacting U.S. businesses and jobs.”

In 2002, President George W. Bush imposed similar tariffs on steel that were terminated after 18 months due to opposition from U.S. manufacturers. At the time, NAFEM also played an active role in opposing those efforts.

“We cannot emphasize enough how important it is for companies’ voices to be heard,” added Josh. “It’s never too late or too small to be involved.”

To support this outreach, NAFEM has prepared a member advocacy toolkit. Companies that have business stories to help CAMMU’s efforts should contact Charlie Souhrada, CFSP, vice president, regulatory & technical affairs: +1.312.821.0212;