President Trump’s Tariffs on Aluminum, Steel To Take Effect

TrueNorth Steel in Fargo is just one of the companies affected by the new tariffs

FARGO, N.D. — Those who work in America’s steel and aluminum industries say there will always be a need for international imports.

“The current U.S. capacity cannot meet the demands of the United States, so we would need imports pretty much in every situation,” said Dan Kadrmas, president of TrueNorth Steel.

But trading steel and aluminum with other countries does come with its own set of problems, including having an oversupply of the materials.

“It has been an issue being overcapacity internationally, primarily from China. They have four times the capacity that we have so something had to be done,” Kadrmas said. “Tariffs are one method of negotiating and helping drive decision and how to deal with the overcapacity issue internationally.”

Now those tariffs will go into effect at midnight.

President Trump has proposed a 25 percent increase on imported steel and a ten percent increase on imported aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the Eu.

While TrueNorth Steel in Fargo primarily gets their steel from companies in Arkansas and Indiana, they’ve already seen changes in the price of the products they manufacture.

“It’s impacted our pricing in that range about 15 percent in the product that we sell,” Kadrmas said.

Kadrmas says it isn’t necessarily such bad thing though. In fact, he says he doesn’t expect the prices to stay high for long.

“I would say that is above normal. We don’t see increases like that but we anticipate that pricing longer term will settle back down some so we did expect some increases with inflation but it has increased at a greater pace because of the tariffs,” Kadrmas said.

TrueNorth Steel executives say thankfully they started preparing a while ago for the tariffs.

“We did buy steel last fall, anticipating increases. The president had said all along that he was going to do this and we were expecting him to do something. So he did follow through with what he said he was going to do and the market has reacted,” Kadrmas said.

Government officials in Canada and Mexico have already made announcements that they will impose tariffs on U.S. products in opposition of President Trump’s decision.

The EU has announced they will instead take legal action with the World Trade Organization.

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