Steel group says to keep steel tariffs ‘strong’
Broad country exemptions and product exclusions could undermine progress in creating steel industry jobs, the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) said today in a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Representative Robert Lighthizer.
President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will impose a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum has made agriculture leaders fear China and other countries will retaliate by reducing imports of U.S. farm products.
But Trump has announced he will exempt Mexico and Canada from the tariffs if the North American Free Trade Agreement works out to his satisfaction and that other allies can also negotiate exemptions so that their steel and aluminum would not be subject to the tariffs being imposed on the basis of national security needs.
“Country exemptions should be extremely limited and conditional, and subject to regular and thorough review,” said AAM President Scott Paul. “The goal of this trade action must secure America, cut global overcapacity, and increase domestic steel jobs.”
“We believe the proclamation signed by the president on steel imports will be highly effective in meeting the goals it spelled out, provided it is not diluted through excessive country exemptions and product exclusions,” wrote Paul.
“These tariffs will lay the groundwork for a stronger economy and industrial base as long as importers and lobbyists don’t needlessly weaken the remedy,” said Paul. “President Trump has the world’s attention with these tariffs, and he should ensure that no one gets a blank check on steel imports.”
–The Hagstrom Report