AEM President Dennis Slater issued the following statement last week Friday in response to President Trump’s import tariffs on steel taking effect:
Equipment manufacturers remain disappointed at President Trump for allowing harmful steel tariffs to go into effect today. While exemptions for our strategic partners are encouraging, AEM opposes any steel tariffs as they will disrupt the entire global trading system.
Our industry has been consistent and clear about the negative impact that import tariffs on steel will have for equipment manufacturers and their employees. The mere threat of tariffs or quotas has already contributed to higher steel prices, disrupted business operations for equipment manufacturers, and caused uncertainty in the business climate.
We are encouraged that the Trump administration has announced exemptions for some of equipment manufacturers’ largest suppliers of steel. But the overall industry exemption process is confusing and burdensome for businesses, especially small and medium-sized equipment manufacturers who will have to contend with the additional administrative costs in seeking an exemption.
The best thing President Trump can do to mitigate the negative impact of these tariffs for equipment manufacturers is to end them, immediately.
AEM members have expressed concern that steel tariffs in particular raise input costs since most heavy equipment is steel-intensive. Equipment manufacturing jobs are among the 6.5 million jobs supported by downstream industries that make use of steel as an input.
Last week AEM launched a TV ad campaign urging President Trump to reverse course on steel tariffs, and the association also published an article detailing how AEM member companies that use steel in business activities can seek an exclusion from a tariff on steel article imports.