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Domestic steel shows support for tariffs

By Camille Grayson
on June 17, 2021

In 2018, after seeing a dramatic rise in the global steel supply, Congress enacted Section 232 measures, putting a 25% tariff on imported steel. Three years later, the tariff has undoubtedly helped the American steel industry bounce back from the economic effects of unfair trade practices. Now, the steel industry is lobbying to keep the tariffs in place, hoping they will continue to aid in the growth of domestic steel.

Support for Section 232

Talks of eliminating the 25% tariff on imported steel have encouraged many American steel manufacturers to voice their support for Section 232. Imported steel has been on the decline, while domestic steel production has risen by over 50% in the last year, creating nearly 3,000 new steel jobs since September 2020. The American Iron and Steel Institute, the USW, the Steel Manufacturers Association, The Committee on Pipe and Tube Imports, the Specialty Steel Industry of North America, the American Institute of Steel Construction and the Alliance for American Manufacturing are all urging President Biden to keep Section 232 measures in place. Read more about their effort here.

Strengthening jobs, strengthening communities

Before the tariffs were enacted, the American steel industry was faced with rising inventory in the global steel market, which undercut domestic manufacturing, causing a slump in production and increases in lost jobs and mill closures. The passing of Section 232 measures not only began to increase demand for domestic steel and create new jobs for steel workers, it also helped strengthen the communities around American mills. Every new job in the steel industry creates seven new jobs that support the industry in some way, which in turn supports the people and economies in those communities. For a look back at the impact when the tariffs were first put in place, read this blog post.

While it’s clear Section 232 measures have made a positive impact on the domestic steel industry, we still don’t know whether the tariffs will remain in place for much longer. For now, we can be grateful they helped American steelworkers bounce back from the oversupply of harmful imports.