Steel Products Prices North America

AIIS Comments on Recent Trade Case Filings

Written by Brett Linton

The following is commentary from the American Institute for International Steel. As is the case with all important issues, there are two sides to every story.

13 August 2015. Falls Church, VA. The recent announcement of the filing of new trade cases on hot-rolled steel and other steel products reminds us that there are multiple potential negative consequences these cases may pose for our economy that deserve honest discussion.

One such consequence is the significant potential harm that higher duties on steel imports would likely pose to the broader United States economy.

Given our current wobbly economy, when historically so-so 2.4% GDP growth is considered robust expansion, and when, according to the Wall Street Journal, wage growth has slowed and personal spending just registered its smallest monthly gain since February, is this really the time to risk raising consumer costs on myriad steel-containing goods?

Moreover, the steel supply chain is a diverse, multi-faceted group of employers who pay good wages to many thousands of talented, hard-working Americans. Is this the time when we should undertake even more initiatives, however well-intended, that threaten the jobs of these workers in other parts of the steel supply chain—workers who ship, handle, unload, transport, store, or manufacture steel products using high-quality, specialty imports?

Finally, it is also ironic that these cases are announced almost at exactly the same time that the United States is urging our trading partners in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations to open their economies more to imports, including to imports of steel-related goods. (Source: AIIS Press Release)

Brett Linton

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