President Trump signed two proclamations levying tariffs on aluminum and steel imports with exemption of Mexico and Canada. In the week leading up to the signing, the Chamber reached out to targeted members to analyze the impact and gather information to convey to the Department of Commerce. Regardless of the exclusions, these tariffs will have a negative impact on our local and national economy. We continue to work with the administration to convey information and seek additional exemptions.
While there are approximately 140,000 jobs in the steel manufacturing industry, more than 6.5 million jobs rely on steel components, a third of which are imported. The unintended consequences are significant and far reaching. California is among the top five states that import steel. With an imposed tariff on steel imports, any benefit that California companies might receive from recent tax cuts will be nullified with increased costs. These costs are then passed on to the American customer on a wide variety of products such as cars, appliances, and houses. Furthermore, it is also likely that other countries including main trading partners, will take retaliatory action on U.S. exports resulting in additional U.S. job loss.
The 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent levy on imported aluminum is expected to take effect before the end of the month.