PMA: Tariffs Causing Drag on Business

Written by Sandy Williams

Metalforming companies are concerned that higher prices for steel and aluminum in the U.S. are hindering business competition. More than half of metalforming companies surveyed by the Precision Metalforming Association are expecting little change in business conditions during the next three months. The January survey found that 57 percent expect no change (compared to 49 percent last month), while those expecting an improvement stood unchanged from December at 23 percent. Any uptick in new orders is expected to be slight.

“Metalforming companies are still seeing a significant drag on their businesses because of the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs,” said PMA President Bill Gaskin. “What matters to our members is the difference in price that U.S. manufacturers pay for steel and aluminum compared to their overseas competitors. While steel prices have fallen in the United States and globally over the past month, U.S. companies continue to pay hundreds of dollars per ton more for steel than their competitors in other countries as a result of the tariffs, putting them at a significant competitive disadvantage. It’s time to terminate the tariffs to put U.S. steel-using manufacturers on a level playing field with their global competitors.”

More companies (32 percent vs. 30 percent in December) said average daily shipping levels decreased in January, while 49 percent reported no change.

Eight percent of metalforming companies reported a portion of the workforce on short time or layoff in January, down from 9 percent in December but up from 4 percent a year ago.

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