Trade Cases

Letter to the Editor: Scared to Death

Written by Tim Triplett

Steel Market Update received the following letter from a manufacturing company located in New England. This company is one of hundreds across the country who are concerned that President Trump’s tariff will increase their costs to manufacture products in the United States and they will then lose business to those who are providing the same products, only manufactured in Mexico.


I am a partner in a small regional steel building manufacturing company that is scared to death of this announcement by our president.

We currently compete on a regional basis with much larger companies that manufacture a good percentage of their steel framing in Mexico and ship fabricated steel products over the border. These U.S. companies have sent their requirements to the south where they are manufacturing and then shipping up to the states. Up until now their chief advantage has been lower cost for labor.

With this announcement and rising raw steel prices their advantage will only increase. If this takes hold like it appears, more finished products will ship north without any tariffs on the raw steel that they were produced from. This type of policy could quickly put smaller U.S. manufacturers like ourselves out of business in a very short period of time.   

I would appreciate your comments.

Thank you,

Bob Fisette

Package Steel Systems, Inc.
15 Harback Rd.
Sutton, MA 01590

Steel Market Update asked Mr. Fisette how their domestic suppliers were treating them and we were told, “…Our suppliers are taking a wait and see approach. Over the last 6-8 weeks they and we have received increases from the mills in anticipation of 232. Now that it is becoming reality, everyone is waiting to see how hard the mills push this.”

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