The U.S. National Taxpayers Union urged the U.S. Department of Commerce not to apply Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to imported steel products, according to industry sources on December 18.
“International trade limited by tariffs will add to the cost burden of manufacturers that have used cheap imported steel,” the union said, adding, “The increasing burden will be reflected in product prices and shifted to consumers in the end.” The union went on to say, “Approximately 140,000 Americans are currently working in the steel industry but the number amounts to 6.5 million when it comes to manufacturers using steel materials, which means overall unemployment arising from trade restrictions in the steel industry is highly likely to overwhelm job creation in the industry based on the restrictions.”
Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 is to limit the import of a certain item when it is regarded as a threat to national security. U.S. President Donald Trump signed an administrative order in April this year to find out whether it can be applied to steel products imported from South Korea and so on.
This is not the first time that an American organization put a brake on the U.S. President’s overprotection of the local steel industry. For example, the American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC) warned in May this year that high tariffs on imported steel would lead to a higher unemployment rate in the American automobile industry due to rising raw material prices.