On January 11, the steel industry and trade unions in this sector urged President-elect Joe Biden to keep the 25% tariff on imported steel.
1. The US steel industry expects the current import tax to be maintained
On January 11, the steel industry and trade unions in the sector urged President-elect Joe Biden to keep the 25% tariff on imported steel. This was imposed by predecessor Donald Trump in 2018. This action is believed to be essential to protect the domestic steel industry.
In a letter to Mr. Biden recently, the American Iron and Steel Institute, the Steel Manufacturers Association, the National Steel Labor Federation, the Steel Pipe Import Commission and the US Steel Construction Institute said that the steel industry is beginning to recover from a decommissioned by the COVID-19 crisis. However, it remains “very vulnerable” to new import price hikes.
The agency said that the surplus capacity of global steel production has now exceeded 700 million tons compared with demand. This figure is forecast to increase as China, Vietnam, Turkey and other countries also increase steel production. Meanwhile, steel exports from South Korea, Russia, Ukraine and Indonesia also continued to increase.
According to them, the continued imposition of tariffs and steel import quotas is essential to ensure the viability of the domestic steel industry in the face of an increasingly serious surplus of steel capacity.
2. Will the new president-elect accept the US steel industry proposal?
In May 2020, Mr. Biden told the National Steel Union that he would keep the same tariffs on steel and aluminum imports that President Trump imposed until he could negotiate a global solution for the production surplus.
Since then, he said he will not make any changes to the tariff matter until consulting with allies.
The US Department of Commerce imposed 25% tax on imported steel and 10% on aluminum imports in March 2018. According to data from the American Iron and Steel Institute, these tariffs have reduced the share of steel imports in the US to around 18% in 2020 from nearly 30% in 2017.