AAM Urges Trump Administration to Keep Steel Tariffs Strong

Agencies Set to Announce Process for Exemptions and Exclusions

New steel jobs in Granite City, Illinois and Lorain, Ohio have already been announced in response to anticipated steel tariffs, but overly broad country exemptions and product exclusions could undermine this progress, according to an Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) letter sent to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday.

“Country exemptions should be extremely limited and conditional, and subject to regular and thorough review,” said Scott Paul, president of AAM and the letter’s signatory. “The goal of this trade action must secure America, cut global overcapacity, and increase domestic steel jobs.”

The decision to allow countries to request exemptions and steel consumers to request product exclusions came as part of the March 8 presidential proclamation resulting from the Section 232 national security investigation on steel imports.

“We believe the proclamation signed by the president on steel imports will be highly effective in meeting the goals it spelled out, provided it is not diluted through excessive country exemptions and product exclusions,” wrote Paul.

“These tariffs will lay the groundwork for a stronger economy and industrial base as long as importers and lobbyists don't needlessly weaken the remedy,” said Paul. “President Trump has the world’s attention with these tariffs, and he should ensure that no one gets a blank check on steel imports.”