The Washington Post

Steel was in trouble


On behalf of American steelmaker­s, we take issue with Catherine Rampell’s June 4 op-ed, “It’s time for Biden to scrap the Trump metal tariffs.”

Surges in steel imports from all parts of the world threatened the viability of the American steel industry, which is essential to our national security and critical infrastruc­ture, supports nearly 2 million jobs and is the cleanest and most energy efficient of the major steel industries in the world.

In March, the Economy Policy Institute issued a new report documentin­g how the tariffs have been effective in stabilizin­g the industry and creating thousands of new jobs. Nearly $16 billion in industry investment­s in new and upgraded production capabiliti­es have been announced since the tariffs were implemente­d. The report also stressed that continued global steel overcapaci­ty threatens additional harm to the U.S. industry absent continuati­on of the tariffs. In fact, last year global steel overcapaci­ty grew to an estimated 625 million metric tons — more than five times the total annual capacity of the U.S. industry.

Subsidies and trade distortion­s in many countries, not just China, are contributi­ng to the global steel glut that we still face. If the tariffs are lifted prematurel­y, a new surge in imports could again threaten the viability of an industry that is essential to our national and economic security.

Kevin Dempsey, Washington The writer is president and chief executive of the American

Iron and Steel Institute.

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