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.