Maine State Chamber expresses concerns to congressional delegation regarding tariffs on steel imports
On Tuesday, April 13, the Maine State Chamber and several members and partners sent the following letter to Maine’s Congressional Delegation – U.S. Senator Susan Collins, U.S. Senator Angus S. King Jr., U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree, and U.S. Representative Jared Golden. We are reprinting it here for your information. If you would like more information on this issue, please contact Linda Caprara by calling (207) 623-4568, ext. 106, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Senator Collins, Senator King, Representative Pingree, and Representative Golden:
On behalf of our memberships, we are writing to you today to express our serious concerns regarding the devastating impacts Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act – the 25% tariffs imposed on steels imports – have had and will continue to have on Maine businesses and manufacturers.
The 25% tariffs have dramatically driven up the price of steel and significantly impacted Maine manufacturing facilities that purchase, distribute, and utilize steel in their processes. Increased steel prices have forced many businesses to postpone or otherwise discontinue their plans to build, expand or create products simply because the supply is not there. Manufacturing capacity is there but the raw materials are not. This will also have broader impact on the Maine economy, affecting consumers who purchase products made from steel, such as those in the restaurant (tourism) industries that have already been hit extremely hard by pandemic.
And while we are aware that the passage of these tariffs happened under the previous administration, we are concerned about the long-term effects they will have on our economy here in Maine, both now and in the future, if not addressed. We are also aware that, to some degree, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly had an impact to the industry and has been responsible for disrupting the supply chain as steels mills have not been able to produce raw materials because either they have shut down or decreased production.
We are very concerned that, beyond the immediate impact this has had on Maine’s economy, it will continue to have a devastating impact on future efforts to grow our economy as we recover from the struggles created by the pandemic.
If you have any questions on the specific impacts of this legislation, please feel free to directly contact anyone listed below. Again, we appreciate all you do representing our state and hope that this issue will be addressed to help businesses here in the Maine.
Dana Connors, President, Maine State Chamber of Commerce
Matt Marks, CEO, Associated General Contractors
Alan LaPoint, President, The Strainrite Companies
Mike Bouchard, Director of Sourcing, Alcom
Joseph Hyatt, Vice President Operations and COO, Rubb Building Systems
Mitchell P. Sammons, President, Sheridan Construction Corporation and Kodiak Steel Company
Rick McCann, Vice President of Sales, McCann Fabrication
John Grondin, President and CEO, Prescott Metal/EAM
Gary Merrill, President, Hussey Seating Company
Rick Glover, Vice President of Manufacturing, Starcsystems
Sam Blatchford, President, American Steel and Aluminum LLC