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March 9, 2018

MSCI: President Must Focus Tariffs on Bad Actors, also Must Address Potential Downstream Circumvention

MSCI: President Must Focus Tariffs on Bad Actors, also Must Address Potential Downstream Circumvention

Rolling Meadows, Ill., March 9, 2018—M. Robert Weidner, III, president and CEO of the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI), issued the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s plan to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports into the United States and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports:

“We appreciate the president’s focus on steel and aluminum and are encouraged that, for now, he will exempt Canadian and Mexican imports. The United States enjoys a substantial and beneficial metals trading relationship with Canada and Mexico. We’re pleased the president considered that relationship, and appreciate his pledge to discuss with our allies alternative ways to address U.S. concerns about the health of its steel and aluminum sectors. As the president said, there’s an avenue to modify or remove the tariffs under certain conditions. We’ll be watching those deliberations closely. The president also recommended a process by which certain articles can receive relief. We’ll be monitoring that process too.

“From the start of the administration’s Section 232 investigations, MSCI has advocated that the Trump administration focus penalties, targeting non-market countries like China that have routinely and flagrantly thwarted international and U.S. trade laws. The president should continue to direct his attention there, not on our North American allies.

“The administration also must continue to consider how these penalties will affect the entire industrial metals supply chain. MSCI’s mission is to foster healthy supply and healthy demand. As we stated in our testimony last year, there is growing evidence that China and others simply process raw steel and aluminum into parts in order to get around U.S. trade laws and flood the U.S. market with cheaper goods. The penalties imposed today will not help members for whom circumvention is a primary concern. MSCI will continue to advocate for fair and free trade across the entire industrial metals supply chain.”

In steel 232 comments submitted to the U.S. Commerce Department on May 31, 2017 and in aluminum 232 comments submitted on June 23, 2017, MSCI asked the Trump administration to take strong action to help the entire U.S. steel and aluminum supply chains while exempting the United States’ North American trading partners from any proposed Section 232 penalties.

About MSCI

Founded in 1909, the Metals Service Center Institute is a nonprofit association based in Rolling Meadows, Ill., serving the industrial metals supply chain. It serves more than 300 members in over 1,200 locations in North America. For more information, visit www.MSCI.org, MSCI’s online resource MSCI.org/Edge, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and connect with us on LinkedIn.