Consumer Brands applauds continued Congressional support to protect domestic can manufacturing

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A bipartisan coalition of 27 members of the US Congress once again urged the International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Department of Commerce to reject unfounded tariffs on tin mill steel that would imperil up to 40,000 domestic manufacturing jobs and contribute to rising consumer costs.

For the second time in six months, the coalition outlined the threats that the proposed tariffs pose in a new letter. The Tennessee congressional delegation also sent a letter, warning the ITC and Commerce of the harmful impacts these tariffs could have on the jobs and consumers in their state and across the country.

“We are grateful for the continued support of domestic manufacturing and the thousands of American jobs our industry provides,” said David Chavern, president and CEO of the Consumer Brands Association. “It’s clear that these proposed tariffs would have deleterious consequences for US companies and consumers alike, and we’re pleased to see ongoing championship from both sides of the aisle.”

The letter, led by Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC), critiques the proposed tariffs, which were requested by Ohio steelmaker Cleveland-Cliffs. Cleveland-Cliffs alleges that eight foreign countries are “dumping” tin mill steel exports in the US at below-market prices. A preliminary determination on the tariffs from the Department of Commerce, released in August, showed zero evidence of less-than-fair-market value steel coming from five of the eight countries.

The letter stated that the originally alleged dumping margins average 132% and tariffs at those levels would dramatically increase the cost of tinplate used for canned packaging, including food cans, aerosol cans, jar lids, and other components that utilise tin mill steel. “If imposed, tariffs would lead to additional costs on domestic manufacturers and consumers at a time of already high inflation and grocery prices,” the coalition writes.

Currently, US steel manufacturers only have the capacity to produce about 50% of domestic can manufacturing demand. The proposed tariffs, which range up to 300% on some countries, could be devastating to downstream manufacturers reliant on supply from our trade allies.

The Department of Commerce is expected to issue final tariff duty rates on 4 January, the same day as an ITC hearing to consider arguments in the case. The ITC will then make its final determination on Cleveland-Cliffs’ claims in early February.

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