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President Trump to Impose Steel Tarifs

March 6, 2018 - On Thursday, March 1, President Trump announced his intention to impose a 25% tariff on imported steel from all countries. The formal imposition is expected to take effect this week. The announcement follows the U.S. Department of Commerce’ February 16 finding that steel imports threaten U.S. national security. This finding, under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, required the President to make a decision, one way or the other, on steel import tariffs by April 11, 2018.

There are mixed reactions to the imposition of tariffs in the steel industry and the many U.S. industries that use steel to produce U.S.-made products. Some believe countries have been unfairly dumping subsidized steel into the U.S. for years, hampering the ability of domestic producers to compete. Others believe the imposition of tariffs will cause price increases and spark trade wars that will make the move a net-negative on the U.S. economy.

We want to point out that the steel tariffs will not have any effect on the Buy America Program. There have been no programmatic changes to the Buy America Program since President Trump took office. Changes proposed in the closing months of the Obama Administration (see earlier posts on this website) have not been acted upon by the Trump Administration.

At Buy America Steel Products Association, we support maintaining a robust federal Buy America Program. This Program requires that steel and steel products used in transportation projects funded with Federal Highway Administration funds must be made in America, from the melting and pouring of the steel, to the finished steel product.