Kevin Frayer, Getty Images
A Chinese steel mill.

Metal Manufacturers Protest Steel, Aluminum Tariffs

April 19, 2018
'Tariffs are Taxes' is the rallying cry of the new Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers

Under the banner “Tariffs are Taxes,” a group of manufacturers who heavily use steel and aluminum in their products launched a coalition on Wednesday opposing the steel and aluminum tariffs imposed in March by President Donald Trump.

“These tariffs will do nothing to uphold their stated purpose of protecting U.S. national security,” coalition spokesperson Paul Nathanson stated in a press release. “They will instead hurt U.S. manufacturers in the near term by raising the price of the essential inputs they need to make finished products, and do long-term harm to domestic steel producers by eroding their own customer base.”

The Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users includes:

• Industrial Fasteners Institute
• National Tooling & Machining Association
• North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers
• Precision Machined Parts Association
• Precision Metalforming Association
• American Wire Producer Association (associate member)

The release said these groups “are already seeing the damaging results from the 25% steel tariffs and 10% aluminum tariffs.”

“It doesn’t matter what finished product you manufacture; if you use steel or aluminum as an input, your costs are rising as a result of these tariffs,” Nathanson stated. “It also doesn’t matter whether you use domestic or imported steel or aluminum, because the effect is the same: higher prices for your basic inputs.”

Steel and aluminium manufacturers have come out strongly in support of the tariffs. In March, U.S. Steel announced it was restarting one of its two blast furnaces and its Granite City (Ill.) Works steelmaking facility.

“The president’s strong leadership is needed to begin to level the playing field so companies like ours can compete, win and create jobs that support our employees and the communities in which we operate,” U.S. Steel President and CEO David Burritt said in a statement in March.

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