The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), along with four other US steel industry organizations, has urged the incoming Biden administration to keep the ongoing steel tariffs, citing their importance in ensuring the domestic steel industry’s viability.
In a letter signed by AISI, along with the United Steelworkers Union, Steel Manufacturers Association, The Committee on Pipe and Tube Imports, and the American Institute of Steel Construction, the organizations said that eliminating or reducing the current tariffs on steel imports would result in dumping by countries looking to reduce their overcapacity, and in turn, harm the US steelmaking industry.
The letter cited OECD data to make its case for tariffs, stating that steel overcapacity was forecast to grow to eight times the total steel output by the US last year, to 700mn mt in 2020. Countries like China, Turkey, and Vietnam, had increased their production despite a drop in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while Korea, Russia, Ukraine, and Indonesia were just some of the many countries that exported a large amount of their steel to other markets.
Moreover, while the domestic steel industry began recovering by Q3 2020 after demand plummeted in the first half of last year due to the pandemic, a surge in imports would increase its vulnerability, the letter indicated.