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Rush Urges Categorical Exclusion From Section 232 Tariffs for Tinplate Steel

August 31, 2021

WASHINGTON— In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) urged the Department of Commerce to grant relief from Section 232 tariffs for tinplate steel products.

In 2018, President Trump imposed 25% and 10% tariffs, respectively, on the vast majority of imported steel and aluminum products, including tinplate steel.  Tinplate steel is essential for the manufacturing of metal cans, and Illinois’s 1st District is home to two metal can manufacturing facilities in Alsip, which employ approximately 155 people.  Overall, the metal can-making industry employs approximately 1,000 workers in Illinois.

“Given the importance of the metal can industry to the state and my district, I am requesting that the Department of Commerce grant a ‘categorical exclusion’ from the [Section] 232 tariffs for tinplate steel, black plate, and hotbands for conversion to tinplate in the United States.  Additionally, I ask that the Department provide relief from Korean steel quotas for tinplate and hotbands for the conversion to tinplate in the United States.  Such relief will help mitigate the intense tinplate steel supply pressures on the domestic can making industry right now,” Rush wrote.

“Since the imposition of the 232 tariffs and quotas on foreign imports, the domestic supply of tinplate has been curtailed, further driving U.S. can-makers to look overseas for tinplate steel, blackplate, and hotbands.  Those markets have proven unreliable because the 232 tariffs and quotas have discouraged European, Japanese, and other suppliers from exporting to the United States.  With less domestic production and a constricted import market, the lack of tinplate steel will affect the availability of domestically produced canned foods for American consumers,” Rush continued.

“Consequently, the U.S. agricultural and manufacturing workforce is in a precarious position, as U.S. can-makers have had to turn down business due to a tinplate shortage.  Furthermore, domestic can-makers have been forced to furlough their employees due to this lack of steel.  Without timely action, the downstream effect on food processors and farmers will have long-lasting and grim consequences.”

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