The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute joined with dozens of other industry groups in a letter asking President Joe Biden to end Trump-era Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs on national security and trade allies. Initiated in March 2018 before base metal prices soared, the domestic steel industry has since consolidated to four major companies that have shut down capacity amid market disruptions.

Wall Street Journal reports older, expensive to run and emission-heavy steel mills are staying shuddered. This depresses domestic capacity as new mills are months and years away from opening. The American Iron and Steel Institute found that while 25% of U.S. steel consumption usually comes from imports, last year it was 18% — the lowest share since 2003.

Written as the administration begins trade talks with the European Union, here's AHRI's letter addressed to the president:

These tariffs and quotas continue to hurt small, family-owned businesses and the communities in which they built their companies, while fracturing relations with overseas trading partners and spurring a frenzy of retaliatory trade measures against both related and unrelated industries.

The tariffs intended to help the steel and aluminum producing industries imposed substantial costs on a much broader segment of the U.S. economy. The restriction on the supply of goods and raw materials resulting from the tariffs has sent a ripple throughout downstream industries, disrupting supply chains and threatening the economic security of American workers. Our members rely on the movement of their goods and inputs without constant government intervention that causes delivery delays and arbitrary price spikes. We encourage you to work with our national security and trade allies during your meetings in Europe in the coming weeks to lift the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs.

We are encouraged by your Administration’s recent announcement that it will commence negotiations with the European Union to address global steel and aluminum excess capacity and an end to the Section 232 tariffs. We strongly encourage you to expedite these discussions in order to reach agreement as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the U.S. economy and harm to the vital relationships between America and our national security and trade allies.

Our businesses sustain communities and create jobs across the country that far outweigh any intended benefit of the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs on those two industries. To grow U.S. jobs, we urge you to lift the steel and aluminum tariffs, negotiate the removal of retaliatory tariffs on American exports, and support innovative policies to make our businesses more globally competitive.

Sincerely,
Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI)
American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)
American Petroleum Institute (API)
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)
Associated Equipment Distributors (AED)
Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)
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Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)
Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM)
Auto Care Association
Beer Institute
Border Trade Alliance (BTA)
Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users (CAMMU)
Experiential Designers and Producers Association (EDPA)
Flexible Packaging Association (FPA)
Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America (FDRA)
Hands-On Science Partnership (HOSP)
Industrial Fasteners Institute (IFI)
Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA)
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC)
National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC)
National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA)
National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA)
North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM)
Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)
Pet Food Institute (PFI)
Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA)
Precision Metalforming Association (PMA)
Promotional Products Association International (PPAI)
Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)
Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA)
U.S. Apple Association
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA)