Steelmakers and Steelworkers Call on Biden to Keep Trump Tariff

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Four industry groups representing the top U.S. steel producers and the United Steelworkers union urged President-Elect Joe Biden to preserve President Donald Trump’s steel tariffs implemented in 2018, calling them “essential” to the viability of the domestic industry.

The union, along with the American Iron and Steel Institute, Steel Manufacturers Association, Committee on Pipe and Tube Imports and American Institute of Steel Construction, said removing or diminishing the duties will lead to surges of imports. The steel industry has been very vocal in recent months that the next administration needs to work with trade allies to force countries like China to cut down on overcapacity that is depressing global prices.

“Unfortunately, the steel industry’s recovery was set back by the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused a significant drop in demand last spring, forcing painful job cuts as steel mills, fabricators and pipe and tube mills either cut back production or shut down entirely,” the group wrote in a letter.

  • Groups said in the letter that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development projected steel overcapacity would grow to 700 milion tons in 2020, despite the global slowdown due to the pandemic.
    • “China, Vietnam and Turkey, among others, continue to increase their steel production even as the pandemic has caused demand for steel to drop around the world.”
  • Biden hasn’t said what he will do about steel and aluminum tariffs.

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