Manufacturing Coalition Asks for End to 232
By Metal Center News Staff
on Feb 10, 2021
The Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting the termination of Section 232 Tariffs. The coalition is a group of seven trade groups, including the Precision Metalforming Association and the National Tooling & Machining Association.
The letter says the tariffs instituted by former President Donald Trump have hurt small, family-owned manufacturers, while fracturing relationships with overseas trading partners and spurring a spate of retaliatory trade measures. Instead, the coalition asks the administration re-engage U.S. trading partners in addressing excess steel and aluminum capacity in China.
“By taking action to terminate the Trump tariffs, your administration can prevent U.S. manufacturers from shutting down production lines, laying off workers and potentially even closing their doors. By contrast, the ripple effects of allowing these Section 232 tariffs to remain are substantial. Our member companies report not only record steel prices, but also delivery times stretching 12 to 16 weeks, causing significant disruptions. Thousands of manufacturers cannot procure the necessary raw materials in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available commercial quantities – and of a satisfactory quality – leading American companies to rely on imports of steel and aluminum from many of our overseas allies.”
The letter adds the problems with the tariffs cannot be solved through the exclusion process. It says the Commerce Department estimated there would be 4,500 exclusion requests for steel and aluminum, but the number exceeds 200,000 and is growing, while being plagued with delays, questionable determinations and a lack of transparency.
The letter also noted 6.2 million American workers are employed in industries using steel, while the pre-COVID 19 steel industry itself employs just 140,000 workers. “The Trump tariffs primarily served to shift injury from one industry to a much broader segment of the economy. The data on employment in steel and aluminum production shows a muted benefit of approximately 1,000 more jobs. By comparison, a study by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors indicated that increased input costs due to the tariffs are associated with 75,000 fewer jobs in the U.S. manufacturing sector.”