Auto Industry Braces for Trump Decision on Steel

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Source: Crain’s Detroit Business

Domestic automakers and suppliers are bracing for a possible Trump administration decision to impose steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum predicated on national security reasons, leading to higher costs and lost sales to foreign competitors.

Automakers are concerned about the unintended consequences of any restrictions on steel, including a potential decline in domestic auto production and the risk of triggering a global trade war. Retaliation by other countries would make access to raw materials and export markets even more difficult.

“Uncertainty is what’s problematic for the industry, and the most likely outcome for any remedy proposed is higher prices,” said Kristin Dziczek, director of industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor.

While most automotive steel is sourced from mills in the U.S., many specialty grades come from overseas.

President Donald Trump on April 20 ordered the Commerce Department to investigate the effects of global overcapacity in steel and aluminum, dumping, illegal subsidies and other factors on U.S. economic security and military preparedness. Steel and specialty alloys are heavily used for armor, vehicles, ships, aircraft and infrastructure.

Read the full story at Crain’s Detroit Business

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