On March 8, 2018, President Trump signed into action tariffs on import steel and aluminum. Highlights from a recent article on MarketWatch regarding the tariffs include:
- Tariff of 25% on imported steel
- Tariff of 10% on imported aluminum
- Canada and Mexico will be excluded for now, as the U.S. discusses its national security relationships and the North American Free Trade Agreement with both countries
- Tariffs could be modified for other countries, such as Australia, which Trump called a “long-term partner” at a cabinet meeting
- The tariffs will go into effect March 23, 2018
Launched in April 2017, Section 232 is the U.S. Department of Commerce’s investigation into the effect of steel mill products and wrought and unwrought aluminum imports on national security. The investigation recently concluded and determined that these imports have a detrimental impact on our national security.
A fair amount of uncertainty and speculation still surrounds the new tariffs. Prices on imported products, as mentioned above, will increase and may affect pricing of similar domestically produced product due to increased demand. Lead times will likely climb for both imported and domestically produced steel and aluminum.
Several manufacturers are implementing product allocations and volume restrictions to smooth out demand based on historic purchases. This ensures their customer base is treated fairly during this dynamic event. Many have also announced price increases.
The short and long term impacts to regional, national and global economies are yet to play out. You are encouraged to stay in close contact with your DSG sales associate due to increased price volatility and fluid nature of product availability.