SBE Council Urges President Trump to Reject Taxes on Steel and Aluminum

By at 16 February, 2018, 5:31 pm


For Immediate Release                                                  

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) urged President Trump to reject a proposal from the U.S. Department of Commerce to impose major new taxes on imported steel and aluminum.

SBE Council chief economist Raymond J. Keating stated, “The Commerce Department’s proposal for the imposition of major tax increases on imported steel and aluminum would mean a major increase in costs for entrepreneurs, businesses and workers in a wide range of industries that use steel and aluminum, such as in construction, assorted consumer goods manufacturers, and the makers of capital goods, like tools, machinery, equipment and a host of other products.”

Among the alternatives presented by the Commerce Department regarding steel, for example, are a 24 percent tariff on all steel imports; a combined minimum 53 percent tariff on imports from 12 select countries coupled with a quota on steel from other nations; and a steel quota equal to 63 percent of the 2017 level of steel imports from all nations.

Keating pointed out, “All U.S. industries using steel would experience a major cost increase, hurting their workers and consumers, and ironically, these sectors would become less competitive in the global marketplace. And it must be noted that most of the businesses that would suffer harm due to these proposed tax increases are small and mid-size firms. Consider, for example, that among U.S. manufacturing employer firms, 74.6 percent have less than 20 employees, 93.5 percent less than 100 workers, and 98.5 percent less than 500 employees. Make no mistake, this tax increase would hit small and mid-size businesses hard, and be a real negative for the economy.”

President Trump has until April 11, 2018, to make a decision regarding the steel proposals, and until April 19, 2018, on the aluminum proposals. He can take a variety of actions, including taking no action on the recommendations.

Keating concluded, “President Trump should reject the tax increases – that is, the tariffs and the quotas – being proposed by the Commerce Department. These tax increases would undermine the Administration’s actions to date that are creating a stronger U.S. environment for investment and economic growth.”

Contact: Raymond J. Keating

631-909-1122 or

SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy, research and education organization that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship. For nearly 25 years SBE Council has worked to successfully implement a range of policy and private sector initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for startups and small business growth. To learn more, visit SBE Council’s website: Follow on Twitter: @SBECouncil

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