US Industries Slam Trump Tariffs
Users of Steel and Aluminum Say Measures Will Cost Sales and Jobs
United States industries that consume steel and aluminum harshly criticized President Donald Trump’s decision yesterday to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
“The administration’s short-sighted decision to implement new tariffs is meant to fulfill a campaign promise rather than support robust, pro-growth trade policy,” said Thom Dammrich, President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “This action will hurt countless manufacturers and uniquely American industries that support 650,000 American jobs and $37 billion in sales each year. Ninety-five percent of all boats sold in America are made in America.”
The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), which represents manufacturers of heating, air conditioning, commercial refrigeration, and water heating products and equipment, expressed disappointment over Trump’s proclamations. AHRI’s 320 member companies rely on economical supplies of steel and aluminum to make their products and equipment, noted AHRI CEO Stephen Yurek.
“As major users of steel and aluminum, we have been proactive in explaining to the administration that the HVACR and water heating industry would be negatively impacted by an increase in tariffs, as would the consumers that rely on the products we manufacture,” said Yurek.
While Yurek was heartened that Trump included a temporary exemption for supplies from Canada and Mexico, “we believe this step to be injurious, rather than helpful, to our efforts to increase American manufacturing and create jobs,” he added.
“We continue to oppose the steep tariffs on steel and aluminum,” said Roy Hardy, President of the Precision Metalforming Association. “These tariffs will damage downstream US steel and aluminum consuming companies, as the US will become an island of high steel prices that will result in our customers simply sourcing our products from our overseas competitors and importing them into the United States tariff-free. We continue to encourage the President to consider the entire manufacturing sector – both upstream and downstream companies.”
US manufacturers who use steel employ more than 6.5 million Americans, Hardy noted, while 140,000 are employed by the domestic steel industry. “These tariffs will threaten thousands of jobs across the United States,” he added, “similar to our experience in 2002 when the US imposed steel tariffs that resulted in the loss of 200,000 American manufacturing jobs. Canada and Mexico were exempted from those tariffs as well.
Trump’s Section 232 tariffs will cost 146,000 jobs in the US manufacturing sector short term, Hardy claimed. Hardy plans “to work to end these tariffs as soon as possible.”