The U.S. International Trade Commission has begun a fact-finding investigation into the economic impacts of Section 232 and 301 tariffs on U.S. industries.
Under Section 301 tariffs on imports from China, the ITC was obligated to issue a report at the midway point of the 4-year tariffs that took effect March 2018.
Since there is no such requirement for Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports that took effect July 2018, nor is there an end date to these tariffs, Congress directed the ITC to add this assessment to its investigation and report.
A public hearing will take place on July 21, with the deadline for filing post hearing briefs and statements set at 12 August.
As a quasi-independent entity, there is a history of ITC reports persuading government policy. For example, the Commission’s 2002 report on the economic impact of the then Section 201 steel tariffs persuaded the George W. Bush administration to end the tariffs three years early.
NAFEM said its members will need to put forward their most compelling arguments.
Vice president of regulatory and technical affairs, Charlie Souhrada, said: “The ITC investigation is a great opportunity for NAFEM to amplify the issues we’ve been advocating for the past four years. We plan to fully participate in the virtual public hearing and submit written comments.”
NAFEM recently surveyed members to better understand the impact of tariffs on their businesses and plans to share its findings with the ITC in its comments.
It found that:
– 100% of respondents have felt the effects of Section 232 and 301 tariffs.
– 61% of respondents report that the tariffs are causing economic harm to their companies.
– More than 90% say tariffs are impacting their businesses’ abilities to control costs.
– Nearly 73% say removal of Section 232 tariffs would help relieve business pressures and 68% report that same regarding removal of Section 301 tariffs.