American Metal Manufacturers and Users: ‘Tariffs Are Taxes’ - Global Trade Magazine
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  April 19th, 2018 | Written by

American Metal Manufacturers and Users: ‘Tariffs Are Taxes’

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  • Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users represents a wide range of US manufacturing interests.
  • Manufacturers are already seeing the damaging results from Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs.
  • Trump’s “tariffs will do nothing to uphold their stated purpose of protecting US national security.”

With the slogan “tariffs are taxes,” a diverse array of steel- and aluminum-using manufacturers from across the United States launched a new coalition yesterday focused on terminating the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs.

The Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users represents a wide range of US manufacturing interests, from metal formers to machinists to food equipment manufacturers and more who are already seeing the damaging results from the 25-percent steel tariffs and 10-percent aluminum tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump on March 23.

“These tariffs will do nothing to uphold their stated purpose of protecting US national security,” said coalition spokesperson Paul Nathanson. “They will instead hurt US 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 growing coalition comprises a broad swath of manufacturing associations, including the Industrial Fasteners Institute, the National Tooling & Machining Association, the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers, the Precision Machined Parts Association, and the Precision Metalforming Association, and the American Wire Producer Association.

“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,” said Nathanson. “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.”

The 232 scenario manufacturers are facing today is nearly identical to what they faced in 2002, when steel was locked out of the US through the Section 201 tariffs. The decision to shut out the normal flow of global steel commerce left a smaller amount of steel available inside the United States, driving up costs for steel users. Studies show that 200,000 manufacturing jobs were lost due to the imposition of those 201 tariffs.

“The coalition is united in its efforts to address the same fundamental problem that we experienced in 2002,” continued Nathanson. “Tariffs help a small handful of steel producers while jeopardizing the viability of thousands of steel-using manufacturers.

“Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple,” he concluded. “The administration’s stated goal is to create new jobs and help US manufacturers prosper, but these tariffs will bring the opposite result.”


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