Used in the construction of bridges, railroads, buildings, appliances, hardware and more, steel plays a crucial role in our country’s infrastructure and economy. In 2014, the United States produced a staggering 29 million metric tons of pig iron and 88 million tons of steel. In turn, this market has created more than 149,000 jobs for Americans across an estimated 69,000 smelting foundries. In recent weeks, though, there’s been some concern regarding how new tariffs on steel imports could affect the industry.
In case you missed it, President Trump has imposed a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% tariff on aluminum imports. This means foreign companies looking to sell their steel or aluminum products in the United States must pay an additional 25% or 10%, respectively. Upon hearing this news, some industry experts voiced their concern, suggesting that it could lead to a trade war with other companies. If the United States forces foreign companies to pay a tariff when selling their goods stateside, perhaps those countries may retaliate by imposing their own tariffs on U.S.-made products.
On the other hand, tariffs could encourage businesses and consumers to buy steel products made in the United States. If foreign companies are forced to pay a tariff, they’ll likely have to raise the prices of their products to offset this newly imposed cost. Therefore, the cost of U.S.-made steel products could be cheaper, making them more attractive to buyers.
When speaking about the newly imposed tariffs, Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), shared his views on Trump’s plan. According to Paul, the tariffs will help the country’s steel worker while also strengthening national security and creating new jobs in the process.
“I firmly believe that President Trump’s action on steel tariffs will help steel workers, will help our national security, will create jobs in the United States. I don’t believe that it will ultimately lead to a trade war,” said Scott Paul when discussing the new tariffs with The Morning News. “You see these alarming headlines but the truth is that we have trade disputes like this all the time.”
The United States has been producing steel for well over a century, with origins dating back to the 19th century. Since then, it’s become a fundamental element of our nation’s economy and job market. While there’s no way to determine exactly how these tariffs will affect the country’s manufacturing market, many experts, including AAM President Scott Paul, share an optimistic view.