Trump May Impose More Tariffs on Foreign Metal

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Commerce Department announced yesterday that it has reached an initial decision to impose duties on structural steel imported from Mexico and China.

The department alleges that American producers are being harmed by imports of structural steel.

From Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Monday said domestic producers were being harmed by imports of fabricated structural steel from China and Mexico, and that it would instruct the customs agency to collect cash deposits from importers of such steel. [...]

Fabricated structural steel is used in major building projects, such as bridges, buildings, parking decks and ports. An industry trade group had filed a petition asking for the trade case to be launched.

In 2018, the United States imported $722.5 million worth of fabricated structural steel from Canada, $897.5 million worth from China and $622.4 million worth from Mexico, according to the Commerce Department.

The Commerce Department launched an investigation of imports of structural steel in January of this year at the behest of the American Institute of Steel Construction lobby.

The Trump regime has given the American metal industry almost everything they've asked for and what do they have to show for it? It has not led to an explosion of job creation in the industry but it has increased the price of construction and manufacturing which is all the metal lobby is really looking for.

Higher prices for American metal have not necessarily filtered down to their employees in the form of uncharacteristically higher wages. Wages for American steel workers increased by 1 percent in 2018 according to the Commerce Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) which is actually slightly less than the 1.1 percent increase in wages steel workers saw in 2017 before Trump started his trade war.

Mexico has responded to the Commerce Department's decision by saying they will "defend the interests of the companies under investigation" by the Trump regime, according to Reuters, which probably means they will retaliate.

A final decision to impose duties on structural steel is expected in November.

  • muselet

    Another trade war is looming.

    Must be a day that ends in a “y.”