WASHINGTON, DC – Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), today reiterated the Institute’s support of steel tariffs and opposition to congressional legislation (Senate | House) introduced last week, called “The Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act,” which would prematurely terminate the tariffs. Gibson said:
“The Administration’s trade actions and tax and regulatory reform policies, in addition to the strong economic climate enabled by those policies, have allowed the American steel industry to begin to recover after more than a decade of low capacity utilization and weaker earnings due to repeated surges in imports fueled by global steel overcapacity. Capacity utilization at existing mills has increased in recent months to over 80 percent -- levels not seen in the last ten years. Some shuttered plants are being re-opened, laid-off workers are going back to work and companies are making investments in new steel production facilities.
“But this recent progress will disappear, and our steel industry will again suffer dire circumstances, if the tariffs are prematurely terminated. The massive overcapacity in steel still exists globally. And China in particular is producing steel at record levels -- exceeding one billion net tons in 2018. This means there is plenty of excess supply that will flood into our market but for the continuation of the Section 232 tariffs. The Section 232 trade remedy is critical to ensuring steel remains a vital asset for our national and economic security.”
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AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 21 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 120 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI's website at www.steel.org. Follow AISI on Facebook or Twitter (@AISISteel).