On March 8, 2018, President Trump issued a proclamation imposing a 25% tariff on all steel imports, including stainless tube, bar, and plate imported to the United States after March 23, 2018. Canada and Mexico are currently exempt from the tariff as part of the US’ efforts to renegotiate NAFTA. (UPDATE: The EU, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and South Korea have recently been granted exemption, as well.)
There is understandably a great deal of concern regarding the price and availability of material in the short term as the markets continue to react to the imposition of these tariffs. This uncertainty notwithstanding, Penn Stainless remains committed to delivering dependable first-class service to all of our valued customers. Penn Stainless’ professional staff will continue monitoring and reacting to the situation in our effort to prevent or minimize any supply chain disruptions.
Below we have included answers to some of the more frequently asked questions raised about the tariffs. In the event you have any more specific questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact your sales representative for more information.
David G. Harris
Penn Stainless Products, Inc.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the 232 Trade Case:
Question: What stainless steel products inventoried by Penn Stainless Products could be impacted?
Answer: Currently all stainless steel products inventoried by Penn Stainless that are imported are subject to the tariff. In addition, this tariff reduces foreign competition so we are already seeing price increases and may continue to see further price increases from our domestic suppliers as well.
Question: What countries are impacted by the 232 Trade Case?
Answer: As of March, only Canada and Mexico are exempt from the 232 case for stainless steel products. All other stainless steel producers from other countries are impacted by the 232 case. Canada and Mexico are minimal producers of stainless steel products.
Question: How will the 232 Trade Case impact domestic stainless steel mills?
Answer: If the domestic mill melts and manufactures stainless steel in the United States, they will not be directly impacted by the tariffs. However, we may encounter some longer mill lead times from domestic producers.
Question: What happens if a domestic mill imports billet or other raw forms of stainless steel to convert them into finished plate, bar or other shapes?
Answer: Mills that import semi-finished stainless steel products to convert to finished forms such as plate, bar or angles will be subject to the tariff on the imported portion of the finished product.
Question: Will the tariff rate change or could other countries be excluded?
Answer: Yes, it could change. We will do all we can to keep our customers informed of these changes.