Steel Industry and Labor Urge Biden to Keep Steel Tariffs in Place

January 11, 2021


The logos of all signatories to the letter

WASHINGTON, DC- Four of the leading domestic steel industry associations and the United Steelworkers union today urged President-elect Joe Biden to ensure steel tariffs and quotas, put in place in 2018 to protect national security, are preserved.

In a letter to the president-elect, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), the United Steelworkers union (USW), The Committee on Pipe and Tube Imports (CPTI), and American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) urged that, “Continuation of the [steel] tariffs and quotas is essential to ensuring the viability of the domestic steel industry in the face of this massive and growing excess steel capacity. Removing or weakening of these measures before major steel-producing countries eliminate their overcapacity --and the subsidies and other trade-distorting policies that have fueled the steel crisis -- will only invite a new surge in imports with devastating effects to domestic steel producers and their workers.”

The letter states that the OECD last year projected that steel overcapacity would grow to 700 million metric tons in 2020 – eight times the total steel output of the United States last year. China, Vietnam, and Turkey, among others, continue to increase their steel production even as the pandemic has caused demand for steel to drop around the world.  Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Indonesia, and others continue to export large shares of their steel production to other markets.

“Unfortunately, the steel industry’s recovery was set back by the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a significant drop in demand last spring, forcing painful job cuts as steel mills, fabricators and pipe and tube mills either cut back production or shut down entirely. As customers have restarted production, the steel industry has begun to recover, but we remain very vulnerable to new surges in imports,” the groups wrote. 

“We stand ready to work with your administration to address the global trade distortions in steel that continue to threaten our industry and its workers,” they concluded.

The full version of the letter can be found here.


For more information contact:

Dani Friedland
Director of Marketing Communications

American Institute of Steel Construction

The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a non-partisan, not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC's mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, market development, and advocacy. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

130 E. Randolph St, Suite 2000
Chicago IL 60601