US steel associations urge Biden administration to sustain Section 232 tariffs

Monday, 11 January 2021 21:52:21 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

In a letter to president-elect Joe Biden this week, five major US steel industry associations urged the incoming administration to uphold Section 232 tariffs on steel imports.

The letter, signed by leaders of the American Iron and Steel Institute, the United Steelworkers union, the Steel Manufacturers Association, the Committee on Pipe and Tube Imports, and the American Institute of Steel Construction, said the Section 232 tariffs implemented in 2018 “allowed the industry to restart idled mills, rehire laid-off workers, and begin investing tens of billions of dollars in new and upgraded plants.”

Unfortunately, the letter said, the Covid-19 pandemic derailed the industry’s “recovery,” causing a significant drop in demand and job cuts throughout the industry. As the industry restarts production, it “remains vulnerable to new surges in imports,” the letter said, noting that China, Vietnam and Turkey are continuing to increase their steel production amid continually low global demand for steel.

“Removing or weakening of these measures before major steel producing countries eliminate their overcapacity and the subsidies and other trade-distorting policies that have fueled the steel crisis will only invite a new surge in imports with devastating effects to domestic steel producers and their workers,” the letter said.

The incoming Biden administration has not made any public announcements regarding Section 232 tariffs, but the general consensus remains that any action will be a low priority for the administration, which aims to focus on the pandemic and economic recovery when Biden is inaugurated on January 20.

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