This afternoon, President Trump signed two proclamations that go into effect on March 23 imposing a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on imported aluminum.
As Trump had hinted earlier this week, both Mexico and Canada are temporarily exempt from the new tariffs — exemptions that could be extended if he is satisfied with the progress in renegotiation of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
According to The Hill, White House officials said that all other countries will be able to make their case as to why they should be exempt from the tariffs and what they will do to shore up their national security relationship with the United States. The president also has discretion to add or subtract countries and raise or lower the tariffs at any time, according to a senior administration official.
“The RV Industry Association (RVIA) is opposed to the new tariffs,” RVIA Vice President of Government Affairs Jay Landers stated in the latest edition of RVIA Today Express. “These new tariffs will negatively affect the RV industry and its many supplier companies that use steel and aluminum, even those who source their steel and aluminum from domestic producers.”
“The way in which the tariffs have been announced is also of concern for the industry,” continued Landers. “Our members are building a record number of RVs and the uncertainty around the implementation of these new tariffs will impact their ability to continue at that rate.”
The tariffs are a result of a “232 investigation,” which focuses on whether certain imports compromise the U.S. national security by degrading the industrial base. In February, the United States Department of Commerce released a report concluding that imports of steel and aluminum were a national security threat. Once that conclusion was reached, the law allows the president wide latitude to impose tariffs.
RVIA staff have been involved in many meetings on Capitol Hill and at the Department of Commerce on this issue and will continue to advocate on the behalf of the industry.
In addition, U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R, Ind.) released the following statement on proclamations President Trump signed to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports:
“While the exemption of some U.S. trading partners is a step in the right direction, these tariffs remain too broad and will put Hoosier jobs at risk. Anything other than a balanced and targeted approach will raise costs for manufacturers, slow our economic momentum, and let bad actors like China off the hook. I will continue listening to Hoosiers while working to narrow this policy and minimize any negative impact on local businesses and workers.”