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Steel Consumers Urge Careful Consideration of Section 232

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The Precision Metalforming Association and the National Tooling and Machining Association urged the Trump administration to take a deliberative approach in the Section 232 national security investigation of imports of steel, warning that unilateral steel tariffs or import quotas could have a devastating impact on its member companies. The warning was contained in comments filed by NTMA and PMA, representing nearly 2,500 small- and medium-sized metalforming, tool and die, machining and stamping companies across the United States.

“Our highest operating expense is often purchasing raw materials – steel or other flat-rolled metal, which amounts to 50-70 percent of costs,” wrote NTMA President Dave Tilstone and PMA President Roy Hardy. “Over the past decade, our members have found their foreign competitors often supplying metal components, assemblies or finished products cheaper than the cost of our raw materials alone. It is essential that our industry has access to globally competitive supplies of steel.”

Thousands of metal stamping companies went out of business as a direct result of the Section 201 30 percent steel tariffs imposed by the U.S. government in 2002, the associations claimed. At that time, steel-consuming companies employed 12 million Americans compared to less than 200,000 by steel-producing companies and the ratio has changed little since then. Tilstone and Hardy noted the government should not simply shift injury from one industry to another but consider how to support the millions of downstream jobs at risk that manufacture tools, dies, and parts for our nation’s defense and economy.

NTMA and PMA urged the Trump administration to take a “targeted approach rather than unilateral action” and avoid shifting “the injury from one industry to another without considering the impact on the broader economy and the defense industry supply chain.”