February 27, 2018
To Our AIIS Members, Friends, and Interested Parties:
I am writing this letter as an urgent alert and appeal to all whose livelihoods are touched by the imported steel supply chain.
Our industry is under siege by an influential protectionist sector within the Trump Administration, as evidenced by the Department of Commerce recommendations on February 16, 2018 to impose, under the guise of “national security,” new, additional steel import restrictions.
For those who may have missed these recommendations, they are:
A global tariff of at least 24% on all steel imports from all countries, or
A tariff of at least 53% on all steel imports from 12 countries (Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam) with a quota by product on steel imports from all other countries equal to 100% of their 2017 exports to the United States, or
A quota on all steel products from all countries equal to 63% of each country’s 2017 exports to the United States.
Any restrictions would be on top of any current antidumping and countervailing duties.
The President has until April 11, 2018 to make a decision. He may make a decision at any time between now and April 11.
We urgently and respectfully ask you to take action, NOW!
Please call your Representative and Senators as soon as possible and ask them to contact the White House to urge the Administration NOT to put new, job-killing restrictions on steel imports.
Here are some bullet points to use when calling your legislators’ offices:
● Steel is the most protected industry sector in the country, with 164 antidumping and countervailing duties on steel imports, including more than two dozen on China.
• The U.S. steel industry does not need new trade restrictions because it is benefitting tremendously from the Trump Administration’s economic agenda of tax and regulatory reform.
● Restricting steel imports would cause wide-ranging economic damage, raising prices for U.S. industries such as construction, transportation, and mining.
• Over 1.3 million American jobs within our iron and steel importing community are at risk if basic steel imports are not available globally. This compares with 81,873 jobs in the U.S. basic steel industry.
● Restricting basic steel imports will harm, not help national security and our economy because it will limit our ability to make value-added products here in the U.S. – many of which are used by the U.S. military.
● As we have often seen in the past, other nations will retaliate against high-value American exports, particularly our agricultural exports.
● The last time the U.S. used global tariffs to help the basic steel industry, the U.S. lost 200,000 jobs, more than were employed by the entire steel industry (187,500) at the time.
Even though April 11 is the statutory deadline for the President to make his decision, the reality is our critical window of opportunity to have any influence is over the next 10-20 days.
Please contact your elected representatives and make your voice heard. It can be as little as a 5-minute exercise by going to your Representative’s or Senator’s website per the following example: www.cornyn.senate.gov/contact. You can also call your Senator or Representative at 202. 224.3121.
AIIS continues to carry our message to the press and key contacts on The Hill, but the more voices they hear, the better. Let us effectively leverage the strength we have in our numbers.
John D. Foster