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Joe Biden calls for tripling of tariffs on Chinese steel

the whole thing seems kinda like a tempest in a teacup to me.
We have never imported much raw steel from China.
Last year, 2023, The top countries we imported steel from were Canada, Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, Japan, and Germany. We imported about 4% of all the steel we imported (not of all the steel we used) from Germany.
Chinese imports of steel were way behind Germany. Dunno exact percentage, but probably 2% of imports were from China.
The big "steel" imports from China are bikes and exercise equipment and baby carriages and bed frames- value added stuff.
We still manufacture, in the USA, most of the steel we use.
Figures I can find for 2023 indicate total manufacturing usage of steel was around 93 million tons, and 88 million tons of that was made here. The whole import pie was something like 5 million tons, and a quarter of that was from China.

The tariffs on chinese electric cars could be a much bigger deal, as the Chinese were getting ready to start selling 20 grand electric cars here, assembled in Mexico, and that is something Biden does seem to be working to prevent.

But the steel thing is mostly PR- a big public announcement, first by Trump, and then by Biden, about how tough they are, when the numbers involved are a tiny part of the amount of steel we use.
 
the whole thing seems kinda like a tempest in a teacup to me.
We have never imported much raw steel from China.
Last year, 2023, The top countries we imported steel from were Canada, Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, Japan, and Germany. We imported about 4% of all the steel we imported (not of all the steel we used) from Germany.
Chinese imports of steel were way behind Germany. Dunno exact percentage, but probably 2% of imports were from China.
The big "steel" imports from China are bikes and exercise equipment and baby carriages and bed frames- value added stuff.
We still manufacture, in the USA, most of the steel we use.
Figures I can find for 2023 indicate total manufacturing usage of steel was around 93 million tons, and 88 million tons of that was made here. The whole import pie was something like 5 million tons, and a quarter of that was from China.

The tariffs on chinese electric cars could be a much bigger deal, as the Chinese were getting ready to start selling 20 grand electric cars here, assembled in Mexico, and that is something Biden does seem to be working to prevent.

But the steel thing is mostly PR- a big public announcement, first by Trump, and then by Biden, about how tough they are, when the numbers involved are a tiny part of the amount of steel we use.
Yep...PR thing, like delaying the Nippon/U.S. Steel deal. Pennsylvania labor votes needed to win next election no matter what it costs others.
 
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the whole thing seems kinda like a tempest in a teacup to me.
We have never imported much raw steel from China.
Last year, 2023, The top countries we imported steel from were Canada, Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, Japan, and Germany. We imported about 4% of all the steel we imported (not of all the steel we used) from Germany.
Chinese imports of steel were way behind Germany. Dunno exact percentage, but probably 2% of imports were from China.
The big "steel" imports from China are bikes and exercise equipment and baby carriages and bed frames- value added stuff.
We still manufacture, in the USA, most of the steel we use.
Figures I can find for 2023 indicate total manufacturing usage of steel was around 93 million tons, and 88 million tons of that was made here. The whole import pie was something like 5 million tons, and a quarter of that was from China.

The tariffs on chinese electric cars could be a much bigger deal, as the Chinese were getting ready to start selling 20 grand electric cars here, assembled in Mexico, and that is something Biden does seem to be working to prevent.

But the steel thing is mostly PR- a big public announcement, first by Trump, and then by Biden, about how tough they are, when the numbers involved are a tiny part of the amount of steel we use.
Do you happen to have the numbers for aluminum?
 
the whole thing seems kinda like a tempest in a teacup to me.
We have never imported much raw steel from China.
Last year, 2023, The top countries we imported steel from were Canada, Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, Japan, and Germany. We imported about 4% of all the steel we imported (not of all the steel we used) from Germany.
Chinese imports of steel were way behind Germany. Dunno exact percentage, but probably 2% of imports were from China.
This agrees with what I learned a couple years ago. However I am left wondering how much raw steel originates in China and finds its way into the US via another country for one reason or another.
 
This agrees with what I learned a couple years ago. However I am left wondering how much raw steel originates in China and finds its way into the US via another country for one reason or another.
A lot of our steel is imported as "hot rolled" raw stock. It is then cold drawn, heat treated, etc here. It is then considered a domestic product.

I was talking to a Canadian company a few years back about the AL tariffs, and they said it is on raw materials only. They are a casting company and once the "raw" stock was melted and poured into another shape, it was then considered a Canadian product and not subject to tariffs.

There are lots of ways around this. Look at the surrounding countries around China and see how they have trade deals with the U.S. Lots of stuff goes to 3rd countries to mask the source.

I remember seeing Belorussian Fish making its way to Russia as the EU has sanctions on RU. The thing is, Belarus has no border with the sea, and thus no fishing industry. They just relabel the packaging as it makes its way over.
 
Steel is pretty straightforward. We know the production numbers for the US mills, as well as the Canadian and Mexican ones. The steel we buy from Japan and Germany is high priced specialty alloys that the chinese dont make. Its possible that some of the cheap black pipe or rebar we get thats stamped vietnam or indonesia ( I have seen both at my local steelyard, and in my shop) is rerolled from chinese ingot. But its still a very small percentage of our imports.

The place tariffs are going to really show in US prices is consumer goods.
Every cheap product at Home Depot, Harbor Freight, Walmart, Target, pretty much all affordable furniture, housewares, clothing, shoes, small electronics, solar cells, bicycles, exercise gear, fishing gear, lawn mowers, atvs, and more- that stuff is all chinese, and if tariffs cause trade wars, its all going to go up, and thats gonna hurt.

We have steel mills. We dont have shoe, or cell phone, or blender factories…. Unless you want a $400 Vitamix.
 
Steel is pretty straightforward. We know the production numbers for the US mills, as well as the Canadian and Mexican ones. The steel we buy from Japan and Germany is high priced specialty alloys that the chinese dont make. Its possible that some of the cheap black pipe or rebar we get thats stamped vietnam or indonesia ( I have seen both at my local steelyard, and in my shop) is rerolled from chinese ingot. But its still a very small percentage of our imports.

The place tariffs are going to really show in US prices is consumer goods.
Every cheap product at Home Depot, Harbor Freight, Walmart, Target, pretty much all affordable furniture, housewares, clothing, shoes, small electronics, solar cells, bicycles, exercise gear, fishing gear, lawn mowers, atvs, and more- that stuff is all chinese, and if tariffs cause trade wars, its all going to go up, and thats gonna hurt.

We have steel mills. We dont have shoe, or cell phone, or blender factories…. Unless you want a $400 Vitamix.
"The place tariffs are going to really show in US prices is consumer goods."
"We have steel mills. We dont have shoe, or cell phone, or blender factories…"
All really good points.
Best guess is the cheap stuff will just get imported from some other country.
 
I actually read that over breakfast this morning. then I clicked on the link and read the actual white house press release. Its predictibly vague, particularly about steel. But- Right now, they are talking about semiconductors, solar panels, electric cars, port cranes, medical supplies, and, this is the elephant in the room- Batteries. I have so many things that use rechargable, but not infinite lifespan, batteries- drills, vacuums, computers, lawn tools, batteries have crept into our lives and made themselves essential. And they arent cheap now.
that alone has the potential to be a big pain in the ass.


Clothes, sure we can get from Madagascar or Guatamala. All my carhartts are from Mexico now. But you cant just snap your fingers and build a car factory in Indonesia or Honduras. Solar panels have had a couple dozen years and billions of subsidies to get the chinese factories built, and nobody is gonna match their prices. China has been moving up market since 2009. when the actually prevented 100,000 or so factories that made cheap crap from reopening- no more christmas tree ornaments or hula hoops or inflatable beach balls- that stuff all moved down the chain to 3rd world places. China makes cnc mills and electric cars and high speed trains and super computers and satelites, all the iphones, the computer monitors, plus, almost all the Buicks, Cadillacs, and a few million Mercedes and BMWs a year.
The cheap stuff done already gone.

"The place tariffs are going to really show in US prices is consumer goods."
"We have steel mills. We dont have shoe, or cell phone, or blender factories…"
All really good points.
Best guess is the cheap stuff will just get imported from some other country.
 
I actually read that over breakfast this morning. then I clicked on the link and read the actual white house press release. Its predictibly vague, particularly about steel. But- Right now, they are talking about semiconductors, solar panels, electric cars, port cranes, medical supplies, and, this is the elephant in the room- Batteries. I have so many things that use rechargable, but not infinite lifespan, batteries- drills, vacuums, computers, lawn tools, batteries have crept into our lives and made themselves essential. And they arent cheap now.
that alone has the potential to be a big pain in the ass.


Clothes, sure we can get from Madagascar or Guatamala. All my carhartts are from Mexico now. But you cant just snap your fingers and build a car factory in Indonesia or Honduras. Solar panels have had a couple dozen years and billions of subsidies to get the chinese factories built, and nobody is gonna match their prices. China has been moving up market since 2009. when the actually prevented 100,000 or so factories that made cheap crap from reopening- no more christmas tree ornaments or hula hoops or inflatable beach balls- that stuff all moved down the chain to 3rd world places. China makes cnc mills and electric cars and high speed trains and super computers and satelites, all the iphones, the computer monitors, plus, almost all the Buicks, Cadillacs, and a few million Mercedes and BMWs a year.
The cheap stuff done already gone.

China has been playing the long game which is measured in decades while U.S. trade policy seems to run on a 4 year cycle.
 
I was talking to a Canadian company a few years back about the AL tariffs, and they said it is on raw materials only. They are a casting company and once the "raw" stock was melted and poured into another shape, it was then considered a Canadian product and not subject to tariffs.
Depends on how the laws are written.

I did some research awhile back and found that the 2018 Trump tariffs extended to many product categories predominantly made of steel and aluminum, closing that loophole.

Vises, for example, are subject to the 25% tariff on China in addition to the 5% base rate, for a total of 30%. You sure won't see me complaining about that.


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RanDepends on how the laws are written.

I did some research awhile back and found that the 2018 Trump tariffs extended to many product categories predominantly made of steel and aluminum, closing that loophole.

Vises, for example, are subject to the 25% tariff on China in addition to the 5% base rate, for a total of 30%. You sure won't see me complaining about that.


View attachment 440224
So....
"Orange Man" bad = "Orange Vise" good
Sounds ok to me.
 
Most here were backing the last administration doing tariffs. Now all a sudden the other guy is doing it and it is bad? Tariffs(with loop holes closed) even out pricing and if the administration was quick about it they would say that domestically they can only raise prices X amount for demand over X amount of time...causing another plant to not idle anymore or an iron ore mine to stay open etc etc CREATING JOBS.
Alot of mines in MN, WI, and Michigan closed up here in last couple years as well as casting/forging.
 
Convenient timing.

goes to just reinforcing the fact western governments only seem to care about getting re-elected at whatever costs and short term thinking, vs long term like people are saying the Chinese think.

It's scary though with 8 years of trudeau government, they have really done a number on Canada...more than double our national debt, and made a lot of his friends very rich, while things are worse than ever for the average middle class person/family.

If you get the wrong long term thinking leader in and not having an election every 4 years you could really fuck things up.
 
Why do you think Nixon went to China ?......to give Mao birthday greetings?....for the scenery and quaint people ?...........No,he was sent by the likes of the Waltons to access an unlimited pool of nearly free labor to make dirt cheap stuff for the Waltons et al to import and sell.
 








 
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