President Trump is imposing a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% tariff on imported aluminum. Canada and Mexico are exempt from the taxes.
The tariffs will likely impact Northeast Ohio, home to several steel facilities, including ArcelorMittal in Cleveland, Republic Steel in Lorain and Canton, TimkenSteel in Canton and U.S. Steel in Lorain, as well as Arconic, a spinoff of Alcoa that has production operations in Cleveland. Republic Steel said that if demand for steel increased because of the tariff, “this could result in Republic bringing back 1,000+ jobs to its Lorain, OH facility.
An Ohio sub-director for the United Steel Workers said he is hoping the tariffs would put some of his members back to work. According to him, unfair foreign competition had played major role in the layoffs of about 500 of the union’s Ohio members at U.S. Steel and another 700 Ohio members at Republic Steel. He continued, the U.S. and Canada are the only two countries that consume more steel than they produce. “China, Germany, Brazil, etc. specifically make steel to export – not for their own use. That surplus is what has been flooding the world market and depressing prices and causing these companies in the U.S. to close down.”
Although the United Steelworkers union endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, many of their members supported Trump because he said he would bring back blue-collar jobs.
Matt Austin owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers throughout the U.S.A. dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can reach Matt at (614) 843-3041 or emailing him at Matt@MattAustinLaborLaw.com.