Mr Biden Likely to Continue with Section 232 Tariffs on Steel
Newly appointed Commerce Secretary Ms Gina Raimondo in an interview with MSNBC said that the Section 232 tariffs introduced on steel and aluminum imports by former President Mr Donald Trump's administration have been effective, signaling there is likely to be little change in the near term. She said "The data show that those tariffs have been effective. What President Biden has said is there will be a whole-of-government review of all of these policies and decide what it makes sense to maintain.”
Mr Trump implemented a 25% duty on steel imports and 10% on inward-bound shipments of aluminum three years ago on national-security grounds, saying they were needed to protect the domestic industry from going under.
Industry groups representing the top US steel producers and the United Steelworkers union in January urged Biden to preserve the steel tariffs, calling them essential to the viability of the domestic industry. But manufacturers have called on Mr Biden to end the duties, saying they hurt businesses and fractured relationships with trading partners from Mexico and Canada to the European Union and Japan. Most end-users have complained that the tariffs raise their raw materials costs, cutting into profits. The major American steel companies say the duties have protected them from foreign imports that tend to push down prices. Though, right now the industry is purposely throttling production to keep domestic steel prices at record levels, which may lead end users to buy foreign imports in order to satisfy their needs.