AISI: Steel tariffs are working

Friday, 08 February 2019 20:38:26 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), today released a statement reiterating the Institute’s support of steel tariffs and opposition to congressional legislation introduced last week, called “The Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act,” which would prematurely terminate the tariffs.

Gibson said, “the Administration’s trade actions and tax and regulatory reform policies, in addition to the strong economic climate enabled by those policies, have allowed the American steel industry to begin to recover after more than a decade of low capacity utilization and weaker earnings due to repeated surges in imports fueled by global steel overcapacity.”

Capacity utilization at existing mills has increased in recent months to over 80 percent, Gibson said, noting that current rates reflect levels not seen in the last 10 years. He added that some shuttered plants are being re-opened, laid-off workers are going back to work and companies are making investments in new steel production facilities.

“But this recent progress will disappear, and our steel industry will again suffer dire circumstances, if the tariffs are prematurely terminated,” Gibson said. “The massive overcapacity in steel still exists globally. And China in particular is producing steel at record levels, exceeding 1 billion net tons in 2018.”

Gibson said the excess supply will “flood into our market but for the continuation of the Section 232 tariffs,” and the Section 232 trade remedy is “critical to ensuring steel remains a vital asset for our national and economic security.”

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