The Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users (CAMMU), which represents more than 30,000 US manufacturing companies and more than one million American workers, has released a letter it sent to US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo providing data regarding the negative consequences of the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports imposed almost three years ago.
The Coalition stated that the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs have shifted injury from one industry to much broader segments of the economy, as over 6.2 million Americans work in industries that use steel, while the steel industry itself directly employs only 141,700 workers. “US manufacturers would have been far better off with measured and targeted enforcement strategies that do not hurt the vast majority of the sector and its employees,” CAMMU said.
The letter said that the quality of steel and the availability of specialty materials are a significant concern. The manufacturers cannot procure the necessary raw materials in the US in sufficient and reasonably available commercial quantities – and of a satisfactory quality – causing American companies to rely on imports of steel and aluminum.
The tariffs lead costs, as many US trade partners imposed retaliatory tariffs of their own. Specifically, tariffs imposed by the EU, China, Turkey, India and Russia in response to Section 232 targeted over $9 billion worth of American products, for an estimated total tax of $2.11 billion. These costs are directly passed on to American producers and consumers.
CAMMU also stated that the US Commerce Department’s exclusion process cannot solve the economic damage to US steel and aluminum using manufacturers caused by Section 232. The Coalition pointed out that the delays in obtaining information on whether Commerce will grant exclusions has caused significant problems for US manufacturers. If manufacturers cannot determine the price and/or delivery time, their customers may choose to source the product from an overseas competitor who charges less due to their ability to access global prices for steel and aluminum.
CAMMU had also released a letter sent to US President Joe Biden requesting the immediate termination of the Section 232 tariffs, as SteelOrbis previously reported.