Steel industry groups urge Biden to maintain tariffs after EU truce
U.S. steel industry groups and the United Steelworkers on Wednesday urged President Joe Biden to maintain steel tariffs imposed three years ago, saying lifting them now would jeopardize the industry’s viability.
In a letter to Biden just days after his chief trade negotiator reached a temporary tariff truce with the European Union, the groups argued that the “Section 232” national security tariffs imposed by the former President Donald Trump had been successful, leading to $ 15.7 billion in new capacity investments.
“Eliminating steel tariffs now would undermine the viability of our industry,” wrote executives of the American Iron and Steel Institute, the Steel Manufacturers Association, the United Steelworkers and other groups. .
“Global steel overcapacity has only increased during the pandemic, and past economic crises have led to devastating import surges as other countries dump their excess steel into the US market.”
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Monday announced a deal with the European Union not to escalate their dispute over U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, sparing Harley-Davidson motorcycles and whiskey and boats American-made engine of a retaliatory doubling of EU tariffs in June. 1. The two sides agreed to initiate talks on dealing with the world’s excess steel and aluminum production capacity, mainly centered in China. Read more
The six-month truce leaves in place US tariffs on metals and retaliatory EU tariffs that previously existed, including 25% tariffs on US motorcycles and whiskey.
But European officials have said they want tariffs on EU-produced metals removed much sooner.
Steel consuming groups argue that removing Section 232 tariffs would ease the surge in steel prices caused in part by supply shutdowns during the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with strong demand. Midwestern hot-rolled steel futures were bought at $ 1,500 a tonne on Wednesday, nearly triple their price of $ 590 at the end of 2019.
The groups said steel was among a number of commodities in short supply due to the pandemic, including wood, semiconductors, concrete, agricultural products and cleaning products. They noted that every steel market in the world experiences high prices and long lead times.
“The tariffs provide a fairer and more level playing field, creating the market stability necessary for companies to invest in the future of the national steel industry, including a significant amount of new steel capacity that has been brought into play. service very recently, âthe groups wrote. .
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