BETHESDA, Md. — President Trump's decision to levy steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum could well prove disastrous to the auto aftermarket, according to the Auto Care Association.
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the primary metals industry in the U.S. added $53.6 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016, the ACA wrote in the letter dated March 12.
However, downstream manufacturers that use those metals added $930 billion, more than 17 times as much, the association noted.
"Although we support the administration's goals to protect the U.S. steel industry and steel mill workers, the disparity in numbers demonstrates that U.S. steel-consuming industries contribution a more significant percentage of U.S. GDP and have more at stake with the imposition of these tariffs than the U.S. steel-producing industry," ACA President and CEO William Hanvey stated in a letter to Mr. Trump dated March 12. .
"Additionally, although Canada and Mexico are currently exempt from the tariff order, we are concerned that other trading partners will retaliate by imposing tariffs on U.S. exports and/or U.S. companies would experience limited access to other exports markets," Mr. Hanvey wrote.
The ACA urged the president to reconsider the tariffs. Specifically, it asked the Trump administration to:
- Send questionnaires to affected stakeholders to gain a deeper knowledge of steel-consuming sectors and steel shortages; and
- Develop an efficient process for U.S. companies to file exceptions for product exclusions.
The letter was an extension of the statement the ACA released March 9, opposing Trump's March 8 signing of the tariff orders.