Steel/aluminum tariff exceptions announced, work to eliminate continues

President Trump extended the 25 percent tariff exception on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum from the EU, Canada and Mexico until June 1, while negotiations continue. South Korea was granted a permanent exception from the tariffs, and similar permanent exceptions are anticipated for Argentina, Brazil and Australia.

NAFEM continues its efforts to persuade the administration to eliminate the tariffs, individually and as a member of the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users (CAMMU). Additionally, nearly 100 congressional Republicans sent a letter to President Trump asking him to “reconsider the idea of broad tariffs to avoid unintended negative consequences to the U.S. economy and its workers.”

According to CAMMU, “Our member companies are already seeing prices spike by more than 30 percent for steel and delivery times have more than tripled in many cases. That’s because a tariff — or the threat of a tariff — on the imports of a product not only raises the price of the imported product, but also allows the domestic industry to raise the price of its products. The result is that these manufacturers will pay more for steel and aluminum in the U.S. than anywhere in the world. U.S. manufacturers will lose business to overseas competitors, who pay global market prices for these important inputs and can manufacture and import end products and component parts with significant content of steel and aluminum into U.S. markets at a much lower cost than they can be made by U.S. manufacturers.”

While NAFEM and CAMMU’s efforts to reach out to elected officials continue, we also need members to contact their elected officials, the White House and the Commerce Department to voice continued opposition to the tariffs. To support this outreach, NAFEM has prepared a member advocacy toolkit.