President Donald Trump said Thursday he will protect American metals production by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Trump said he will levy tariffs for “a long period of time” of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports, the Associated Press reported.
“You will have protection for the first time in a long while and you’re going to regrow your industries,” Trump told industry executives.
Presidents since John F. Kennedy have had the federal legal authority to restrict imports and impose unlimited tariffs if the Commerce Department determines their imports are a national security threat.
In this case, subsidized imports of foreign steel and aluminum especially from China hurts U.S. producers, which would not be able to produce quickly should the demand be needed for national security. Only one domestic producer exists for a high-quality aluminum alloy used in fighter aircraft, for example.
“It’s for our employees, to support our customers, and when we get this right it will be great for the United States of America,” Dave Burritt, president and chief executive officer of U.S. Steel.
BCA JOINS CHAMBERS TO URGE CONGRESSIONAL ACTION ON INFRASTRUCTURE
The Business Council of Alabama has signed a letter from the Council of State Chambers urging Congress to make infrastructure investment a top priority. The BCA and 36 business groups signed the letter from the U.S. Chamber’s Transportation team to urge the priority.
The Trump Administration’s “Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America” has been released and the letter sent to House and Senate leaders was well-timed to push for legislative action on infrastructure investment.
“Investment in America’s infrastructure is a priority of the state business communities in 2018,” the letter states. “As the thirty-seven undersigned representatives of the business community around the United States, we are appreciative of the broad discussion that infrastructure has received over the last 18 months.
“Our infrastructure desperately needs stability and growth, not flirtations and false promises. Our deteriorating national infrastructure is not solely a local issue, state issue, or a federal issue. It is not a small business or a large business issue or a Democratic or Republican issue. It is an American issue that requires strong leadership and action from Congress and the Administration.”
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Trump’s Tax Plan Is a Win That Just Keeps Giving
The Hill (Hendrie: Opinion 3/1) “President Trump and Republicans have delivered on their promise to pass comprehensive tax reform that reduced taxes for Americans at every income level, increased wages, and created more jobs. Businesses across the country have responded to the pro-growth reforms in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by giving employee bonuses, increasing wages, making new charitable donations, or announcing plans to increase investment and create more jobs. Smaller businesses across the country are also thriving.
“While the bigger paychecks will be felt immediately, companies are also investing in their workers, which will result in benefits in the years and months to come. Other companies are increasing employee retirement benefits. Businesses are also investing in the economy … [u]tility companies across the country are responding to tax reform by lowering rates for customers, resulting in lower energy bills.
“American families and individuals at every income level are seeing tax reduction under this bill, with 90 percent of wage earners seeing more money in their paychecks. Strangely, Democrats continue to claim the bill is a scam. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has compared the bill to the apocalypse and derided the bonuses given to American workers as “crumbs,” while Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the bill a “betrayal” of the middle class.
(Alex Hendrie is the director of tax policy at Americans for Tax Reform, a nonprofit group working to support limited government. For a list provided by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce of companies transferring gains from the tax cut, click here).
Manufacturing in U.S. Expands at Fastest Pace Since May 2004
Bloomberg (Dmitrieva 3/1) “U.S. factories expanded in February at the fastest rate since May 2004, indicating sustained strength in manufacturing as demand remains solid, figures from the Institute for Supply Management showed Thursday.
“The latest advance extends a series of healthy readings in the survey-based measure of manufacturing that’s being fueled by improving global economies and firm business investment. It also comes on the heels of a late-year pickup in consumer spending, which advanced in the fourth quarter at the fastest pace in more than a year. The purchasing managers group’s gauge of export orders was the strongest since April 2011.
“The report showed factories are having some difficulty keeping up with demand. The ISM’s index of order backlogs climbed to a more than 13-year high. Delivery times also lengthened in February, with a measure reaching the second-highest level since 2010. That may help explain the rise in the group’s gauge of manufacturing employment, which posted its largest month-over-month gain in more than two years. In addition to firmer overseas and domestic sales, corporate optimism is getting a lift from the recent tax-cut law and reduced regulation.”