The Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users (CAMMU) today released its latest steel price tracker based on information provided by SteelBenchmarker and issued the following statement:
“The crisis involving steel prices and supply continues to worsen. The United States has become an island of high steel prices. U.S. manufacturers are now paying $1334/ton more for hot-rolled steel than their competitors in China, increasing the price difference by $126 in the past two weeks, and $734/ton more than their European competitors, up $118 in the past two weeks. The domestic steel industry’s capacity-utilization rate is up to 85 percent, far above the U.S. Commerce Department’s announced target of 80 percent that was used as a reason for the Trump Administration imposing the Section 232 steel tariffs in 2018.
There is a shortage of steel in the United States that will only worsen if and when Congress passes an infrastructure bill. If U.S. steel-using manufacturers can’t get the steel that they need and at competitive prices, they will lose business to competitors in other countries who are paying far lower prices for steel. When steel-using manufacturers lose business, they buy less steel, which will lead to the domestic steel industry also losing business because U.S. steel producers only service the U.S. markets and do not export.
U.S. manufacturers desperately need more steel, and one way to increase supply is for the Biden Administration to eliminate the Section 232 tariffs. With domestic steel producers enjoying record profits, it’s clear that this tariff protection is no longer needed.”