Four industry groups representing top U.S. steel producers and the U.S. Iron Workers’ Federation urged President-elect Joe Biden to retain the steel tariffs imposed by President Trump in 2018, saying it was “critical to the viability of the domestic steel industry”.
Together with the American Iron and Steel Association, the Steel Manufacturers Association, the Steel Pipe Import Board and the American Steel Structure Association, the union said removal or reduction of tariffs would lead to a surge in imports. The steel industry has been making strong claims in recent months that the next government needs to work with trade allies to force countries like China to cut overcapacity, which is driving down global steel prices.
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has frustrated the recovery in the steel industry, which led to a sharp drop in demand last spring, with steel producers either cutting production or shutting down altogether.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also said it expects global overcapacity in the steel industry to increase to 700 million tons by 2020. China, Vietnam and Turkey continue to increase steel production, despite the pandemic's decline in demand worldwide.
Biden has yet to say how he will handle tariffs on steel and aluminium.
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