On May 31, President Donald J. Trump announced that he was following through on the announced implementation of a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports from some of the nation’s strongest trade partners – Canada, Mexico and the European Union – drawing the ire of the industry.
Since announcing the tariffs on March 8 the administration has reached agreements with South Korea, Brazil, Argentina and Australia on steel and with Australia and Argentina on aluminum. According to a release from the White House, the United States was unable to reach satisfactory arrangements, with Canada, Mexico or the European Union.
Read more about the tariffs from the White House here:
Don Santa, president and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) released the following statement.
“The administration’s decision to immediately impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imported from our long-standing allies of Canada, Mexico and the European Union is very troubling to the US pipeline industry and inconsistent with the administration’s long-standing goal to capitalize on our nation’s energy abundance to help bring low-cost energy to American consumers.
“National security depends on pipelines to deliver the energy America needs to heat homes and fuel businesses, power plants and manufacturing. Because of insufficient pipeline capacity, certain parts of our country still rely on imported fuels to meet basic energy needs. In fact, this winter New England resorted to Russian LNG to meet demand during a cold snap, despite having some of the world’s most affordable natural gas – abundant domestic supplies from the Marcellus Basin – only a few hundred miles away.
“The large-diameter, thick-walled steel used to construct natural gas transmission pipelines is a niche product with unique technical specifications. Federal safety requirements and industry standards require steel specifications beyond those commonly used in markets such as automobiles or building materials. Pipelines require specialty steel products not always available in sufficient quantities and specifications from domestic manufacturers. For certain steel products used in pipelines, no domestic product is available today.
Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API) rleased a similar statement:
“We are deeply discouraged by the administration’s actions to impose tariffs on our three closest trading partners – Canada, Mexico, and the European Union – and view this as a step in the wrong direction,” said Gerard.
“The implementation of new tariffs will disrupt the U.S. oil and natural gas industry’s complex supply chain, compromising ongoing and future U.S. energy projects, which could weaken our national security. Additionally, Canada, Mexico and the European Union are imperative members of our Defense Industrial Base (DIB) and are top military allies – far from a threat to America’s security.
“Increased prices in specialty steel could threaten the continued domestic production of oil and natural gas and natural gas liquids – which are at their highest levels of production since 1949 – and could raise energy costs for U.S. businesses and consumers, while threatening the nation’s ability to achieve President Trump’s goal of energy dominance.
“We hope and expect that the administration will recognize the national security benefits of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry and grant API’s member companies product exclusions from steel tariffs and quotas in the ongoing Department of Commerce process, as well as provide transparency and flexibility in the process to lessen the impact on U.S. oil and natural gas production, transportation and refining.”
Since the announcement of the tariffs on March 8, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers has worked diligently to get the message out that these tariffs are bad for the manufacturer sector and will actually put American jobs at risk. The association released this TV ad to help move that message along.
Dennis Slater, AEM president, released the following statement:
“Starting a trade war with three of our nation’s largest trading partners and strongest allies will disrupt the entire global trading system, placing American manufacturing jobs at risk. These harmful tariffs will directly contribute to higher steel prices, increase costs for agriculture and construction machinery, wreak havoc on the business operations of equipment manufacturers, and jeopardize many of the 1.3 million good-paying jobs our industry supports. Moreover, tariffs and quotas will wipe out much of the positive economic benefits of last year’s tax reform.
If the United States does not grant the European Union, Canada, and Mexico a permanent exemption from steel and aluminum tariffs and quotas, we will face retaliatory actions that will result in diminished U.S. exports and market access for American made equipment and agricultural commodities. We therefore urge the Trump administration to refrain from imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada, and Mexico.”