U.S. steel- and aluminum-using manufacturers issued the following statement after the U.S. agreed to reduce trade restrictions with ally U.K:

“The US-UK agreement to replace the existing Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs with a tariff rate quote (TRQ) system that allows a certain amount of imported steel and aluminum from the UK will increase the supply of these raw materials in the U.S., which could help U.S. manufacturers who continue to have long delivery delays and continue to pay the highest prices in the world. However, it is disappointing that the agreement will not completely terminate these unnecessary trade restrictions on one of this country’s closest allies, the United Kingdom. 

As we are already seeing with the U.S.-EU TRQ agreement where some steel products’ quota filled up for the year in the first two weeks of January, this type of government restriction on raw materials and intervention lead to market manipulations and allow for gaming of the system that puts this country’s smallest manufacturers at an even further disadvantage.

With a global pandemic, global conflicts, a chip shortage and other crises that are impacting the supply chain, U.S. steel- and aluminum-using manufacturers can neither secure the raw materials that they need nor obtain them at competitive prices.  When these American manufacturers who use steel and aluminum lose business, they buy less of those products, which will lead to the domestic steel and aluminum industries also losing business.  The families of millions of workers in these companies will be negatively impacted by the loss of business assured by this continuing restriction of access to steel and aluminum.

The conflict with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine underscores that these “national security” steel and aluminum tariffs on U.S. allies should never have been put in place in the first place.  Access to essential material inputs through trade with key allies is vital for this country’s national security. CAMMU will continue to work with the U.S. government on behalf of U.S. manufacturers that need access to globally priced steel and aluminum to operate in the U.S.”