EPI.org |July 7, 2022
Today, EPI senior economist Adam Hersh filed two hearing briefs examining the impacts of steel andaluminum tariffs on imports. These briefs were submitted to the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) for the“332 Investigation” public hearing scheduled for July 21.
The briefs explore why removing these import measures would undermine U.S. steel and aluminum industries critical to U.S. national and economic security. They also detail how the tariffs have nothing to do with the current inflationary spike, and why eliminating tariffs would not significantly reduce inflation.
Some key takeaways from the briefs include:
America’s industrial base for primary metals—steel and aluminum production—is at risk of being swallowed up in a world where other countries’ industrial subsidies distort global markets and create chronic and worsening overcapacity. These industries provide good-quality jobs— particularly for workers of color—that underpin many regional economies across the United States, creating and sustaining middle-class communities.
The financial conditions created by these tariffs have led to an investment recovery in the industry that needs to continue and will be critical to helping finance a greening of the U.S. steel industry and ensuring it can thrive and survive at the leading edge of global competition.
The tariffs have not had a meaningful impact on inflation (and removing them will not significantly tame inflation). These tariffs (and more) are critical to rebuilding the resilience of U.S. supply chains. Inflation is being driven by a combination of pandemic- and Ukraine war-related supply chain disruptions and corporate profiteering.
These briefs are a part of EPI Action, an independent, nonpartisan research and advocacy organization working to ensure that the voices of working people are represented in Congress and throughout the federal government.