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Steel News February 11, 2019 03:30:40 PM

AISI Reiterates Strong Support to Trump’s Tariffs on Steel Imports

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
AISI noted that premature termination of tariffs may likely impede recent progress and put the industry back to doldrums.
AISI Reiterates Strong Support to Trump’s Tariffs on Steel Imports

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reiterated its support to the steel tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. At the same time, it has raised its opposition to the legislation introduced during the previous week which calls for premature termination of the tariffs. Thomas J. Gibson, President and CEO, AISI issued a statement extending support to the tariffs and opposing the “Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act”.

The press release noted that the American steel industry has been suffering for more than a decade of low capacity utilization and weaker earnings, mainly due to dumping of steel goods into the country, fueled by global steel overcapacity. Since, the introduction of tariffs by the current U.S. administration, the capacity utilization rates of U.S. domestic steel mills have soared higher to levels not seen over the past decade or so. Incidentally, the capacity utilization rate stood at 81.2% during the week ended February 2, 2019.

Also, many steel producers in the country have reported significant earnings boost during the past couple of quarters. This is mainly due to the positive impacts of the tariff policies and the strong economic climate created as a result of those policies, AISI press release noted.

The country has seen several shuttered steel plants reopened during this period. The investments in building new facilities and expanding the existing ones have seen huge rise. The sector also witnessed several companies recalling laid-off workers.

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AISI noted that premature termination of tariffs may likely impede recent progress and put the industry back to doldrums, especially at a time when the global steel industry is not yet free from overcapacity issues.