Section 232 must go before it hurts more - Steel-Con
The Section 232 tariffs and quotas have fulfilled their purpose - and now it’s time to drop them before they harm the US steel supply chain further, trade lawyers, academics and industry experts claimed during this year’s Steel-Con, hosted by the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS) in Houston.
“Section 232 [tariffs] on steel and aluminum is a policy that ended up helping a few at the expense of the many,” John Foster, president of Kurt Orban Partners LLC, said during his opening remark at the event on Thursday March 5.
Steel traders and workers at ports no doubt have been hit by Section 232 first and most, according to Foster.
But beyond that, the domestic steel producers, which have been the primary beneficiaries of these tariff protections, have also been hurt by Section 232 recently, Foster said, citing annual income losses for some major domestic steelmakers, as well as growing weakness in the domestic manufacturing sector.
Indeed, Steel Dynamics reported net income of $671.1 million in 2019, down 46.7% from $1.26 billion in 2018 and down by 17.4% from $812.7 million in 2017 – the year before the 232 duties took effect.