Frequently Asked Questions
How long do the Section 232 tariffs on steel need to remain in place?
Section 232 measures were, and remain, necessary because our Nation’s ability to make the steel we need for our economy, security, infrastructure, energy, and food supply is at risk from massive overcapacity and overproduction of steel around the world. Before these measures can be lifted, the President and Congress need to take a number of actions to put in place effective solutions to address global steel overcapacity—currently estimated to be 625 million metric tons, over 7 times the entire U.S. market and over 30 times total U.S. imports. Section232 measures are calibrated and effective – they are helping U.S. steelmakers increase output, hire more workers, and make the capital investments required for a sustainable long-term future.
Are there more limited approaches or trade tools that could be used to address overcapacity instead of Section 232?
In contrast to past efforts from both Democratic and Republican Administrations to address global overcapacity, the Section 232 measures on steel are working to support domestic industry, steel workers, steel communities, and our national economic security. Biden Administration officials have pointed to data showing that these measures are working and have said that global overcapacity continues and tariffs are a legitimate tool in protecting U.S. national security interests and good American jobs. Courts have also reinforced the legality of Section 232 measures.
While other approaches and methods can be used to address the global steel overcapacity problem, these are limited in scope and fail to address the overcapacity problem in a meaningful way.
This is a global issue and ultimately requires a global solution.
Are American consumers and industries paying for Section 232 measures in the form of higher prices?
No. The facts don’t support that claim. A recent report released by Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows that the Sec.232 measures have had no measurable impact on prices in downstream steel consuming industries in the U.S. The EPI report and other economic analyses show that prices were either unaffected or not materially impacted across the broad array of U.S. industries accounting for a majority of U.S. steel consumption. The EPI study also shows that these measures supported reinvestment in American capacity that has begun to come online and will lead to more domestic supply and, thus lower—but still fair—steel prices, over time.
Why does a national security tariff apply to allies like the EU, Japan and others? Isn’t China the biggest issue?