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Erik Sine

Aluminum Steel Tariffs & The Sign Industry

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aluminum-supply-san-diego.jpg

 

So, as of today all alum & steel from countries like China will now have a tariff of 15% & 25%.  As we know, our industry buys a LOT from China, especially a lot of cheap products.  I haven't looked into it but I know there are quite a few alum companies who's coils and pre-finished aluminum sheets will now cost a lot higher.  I wonder if those finished alum projects will have a tariff too, such as alum letters and alum sign structures?

Maybe hard in the beginning, costs will go up, but hopefully American growth will happen again and those costs with lower regulation can get those costs down and start competing on the world market again.  After all shouldn't a tax be equal between two countries?  If China taxes our exports to them 25%, should we not equally tax theirs? 

Thoughts?

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Growing up in Bethlehem Pennsylvania with the stories of how Bethlehem Steel provided the backbone of our country I certainly have mixed thoughts about these tariffs.  The idealist in me would love to see American Steel seize this opportunity and reclaim its market; however, I don’t see that happening.  Steel mills like all other corporations are dependent on their stock price.  Raising tariffs on steel and aluminum will most certainly have a negative effect on manufacturing and construction resulting in slower economic growth and lower corporate profits.  This will result in higher cost of goods and compound from there.

This feels like the fulfillment of a short-sighted campaign promise, one that is intended to benefit a few, but will have more broad-based repercussions. 

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