The trade tariffs on steel and aluminium imports are expected to raise prices on HVAC&R products.
U.S. President Donald J. Trump
The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), in conjunction with 25 other trade associations, sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on 27 February stating it does not support additional tariffs on steel and aluminum due to price impacts on HVAC&R manufacturers and consumers.
President Trump wants to impose import duties on steel and aluminium at a rate of 25% and 10% respectively, though he is facing pressure to compromise from leading Congressional Republicans.
"As major users of steel and aluminum, we have been proactive in explaining to the administration that the HVACR and water heating industry would be negatively impacted by an increase in tariffs, as would the consumers that rely on the products we manufacture," AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek said in a press release.
“As major users of steel and aluminum, we have been proactive in explaining to the administration that the HVACR and water heating industry would be negatively impacted by an increase in tariffs, as would the consumers that rely on the products we manufacture."
– AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker stated that the European Union will react firmly. "We will not sit idly while our industry is hit with unfair measures that put thousands of European jobs at risk,” Juncker said. “The EU will react firmly and commensurately to defend our interests.”
U.S. Industry groups are also worried about jobs that may be lost as a result. “It is our belief that global tariffs and quotas on imports of these products will injure the purchasers of these products and will lead to the loss of thousands of American jobs,” they said in the letter sent to Trump.
According to the White House, the tariffs should be placed on the two metals due to reports that concluded steel and aluminium imports threatened US national security, based on investigations undertaken between April 2017 and January 2018 by the US Department of Commerce.
But the groups argued that “U.S. historical and current data shows that the remedies prescribed in the Reports will significantly raise input costs for industries that use these products.”
The EU also rejects the need for tariffs. “We strongly regret this step, which appears to represent a blatant intervention to protect U.S. domestic industry and not to be based on any national security justification,” Juncker added.
The EU is expected to engage in trade retaliation and will hold talks on the issue during the 22-23 March summit in Brussels.