President Trump has ended a suspension on steel and aluminium import tariffs for Mexico, Canada and the European Union.
In a statement, the White House says that the president is taking action to ‘protect America’s national security from the effects of global oversupply of steel and aluminium’. Following extensive discussions, he announced he will implement section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from these three countries, which were previously excluded from such tariffs.
This follows an announcement in March of a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminium imports.
The US has reached agreements with South Korea, Australia, Argentina and Brazil on steels and with Australia and Argentina on aluminium.
In a statement, the White House says: ‘The administration will continue discussions with them and remains open to discussions with other countries.
‘The administration will continue to monitor steel and aluminium imports and adjust the measures in effect as necessary to protect the national security of the US.’
In response, API president and CEO Jack Gerard says that this will disrupt the US oil and natural gas industry.
He says: ‘We are deeply discouraged by the administration’s actions to impose tariffs on our three closest trading partners and view this as a step in the wrong direction.
‘The implementation of new tariffs will disrupt the US oil and natural gas industry’s complex supply chain, compromising ongoing and future US energy projects, which could weaken our national security.
‘Increased prices in specialty steel could threaten the continued domestic production of oil and natural gas and natural gas liquids – which are at their highest levels of production since 1949 – and could raise energy costs for US businesses and consumers, while threatening the nation’s ability to achieve President Trump’s goal of energy dominance.
‘We hope and expect that the administration will recognise the national security benefits of the US oil and natural gas industry and grant API’s member companies product exclusions from steel tariffs and quotas in the ongoing Department of Commerce process, as well as provide transparency and flexibility in the process to lessen the impact on US oil and natural gas production, transportation and refining.’