Section 232 tariffs have been bad for American manufacturers
A statement from the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users.
The Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users (CAMMU) is encouraged by the termination of Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada and urges the Trump Administration to terminate the remaining 232 tariffs as quickly as possible. At the one year anniversary of full implementation of these tariffs, more and more U.S. steel-using manufacturers are reporting lost business and business opportunities, and are experiencing long delivery times for steel from their U.S. suppliers because the domestic steel industry cannot meet demand.
However, CAMMU is very concerned about potential new tariffs on Mexico that would include all products. We are opposed to these tariffs as a tariff is a tax paid by U.S. companies that erodes their competitiveness.
Despite positive economic and job-growth reports coming out of Washington, D.C., CAMMU founding member, the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) found in its monthly Business Conditions Report that metalforming manufacturers are growing concerned about economic activity because of the tariffs.
"Over the past quarter, the monthly report has showed a slow but steady decline in PMA members’ optimism regarding economic activity, reflected in their prediction of a slowdown in incoming orders," said PMA President David Klotz. "The survey results coincide with reports from across the country that the steel and aluminum tariffs are taking a toll on steel- and aluminum- using manufacturers. PMA members are losing business to overseas competitors who are paying global market prices for steel while the United States continues to be an island of high steel prices due to the steel tariffs."
In addition to the numerous reports that we are receiving from CAMMU member manufacturers about the negative impacts of the tariffs on their businesses, there is considerable data showing the damage that tariffs are causing to the U.S. manufacturing sector and the broader U.S. economy:
- A study by the Trade Partnership found that, as a result of President Trump’s tariff actions, net jobs declined by 934,700 and that U.S. exports declined by 5.6% overall and exports of iron and steel dropped 42.7%.
- A study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics found that the 232 tariffs increased the price of steel products by nine percent. However, steel users will pay an extra $650,000 for each job created, according to a recent study published by the organization. Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute recently stated that, based on recent calculations, consumers and businesses are paying more than$900,000 per year for every job “saved” or created by President Trump’s steel tariffs.
- A study by CAMMU member North American Association of Food & Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) found that more than 80 percent of respondents reported that the tariffs have negatively impacted their businesses, with more than half reporting that the steel and aluminum tariffs have impaired their ability to compete.
- A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Princeton University, and Columbia University found that the 301 and 232 tariffs cost companies and consumers $3 billion a month in additional taxes and companies a further $1.4 billion in deadweight loses. They also were causing the diversion of $165 billion a year in trade, leading to significant costs for companies having to reorganize supply chains.
- A study by economists from Columbia, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Yale, World Bank Group, and the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) found that U.S. consumers have paid the entire price for the Section 232 and 301 tariffs, and estimated an annual loss to the U.S. of $68.8 billion due to higher import prices.
The domestic steel capacity utilization is now at 81.3 percent according to the steel industry’s own trade association. This exceeds the 80% stated goal set by the Administration when it imposed the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs. It is time to terminate the tariffs outright with no quotas in their place so that U.S. steel- and aluminum-using manufacturers can compete with their overseas competitors.
The Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users is a broad organization of U.S. businesses and trade associations representing over 30,000 companies and over one million American workers in the manufacturing sector and the downstream supply chains of industries including aerospace, agriculture, automotive, consumer goods, construction, defense, electrical, medical, and recreational, among others. Visit Steel Reports to view more steel market insights.