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API says rule to grant relief from tariffs and quotas on steel must be improved to reduce harm to U.S. businesses and consumers


202.682.8114 | press@api.org


WASHINGTON, May 18, 2018 – Today the American Petroleum Institute (API) joined other trade associations in comments to the Department of Commerce on Section 232’s Interim Final Rule (IFR) to raise concerns over the ability of natural gas and oil companies to receive relief from steel tariffs and quotas.

“U.S. natural gas and oil companies should be granted relief from the tariffs and quotas on imported steel that will harm U.S. businesses, our economy and American consumers,” said Kyle Isakower, Vice President, Regulatory & Economic Policy. “Tariffs will raise the cost of imported steel by 25 percent, while quotas will stop U.S. businesses from receiving steel for U.S. energy projects around the country—harming the president’s agenda of continuing our energy renaissance, strengthening our infrastructure and creating U.S. jobs.”

“Any disruption of our complex global supply chains of specialty quality steel – in the quantities we need for U.S. energy projects – could negatively impact building energy infrastructure that benefits consumers, the U.S. military and manufacturers,” said Isakower.

API’s comment letter urged the administration to revise the IFR in order to improve the process whereby companies will be granted relief from tariffs and quotas, as not to sever the supply chains of the oil and natural gas industry, which would ultimately impact U.S. businesses, investments and consumers.

The letter requests a number of important and necessary revisions, including:

  • The Final Rule should make clear that exclusions granted apply both retrospectively and prospectively, as not to have costly consequences or create confusion among U.S. businesses.

  • The Department of Commerce should grant relief for purchases made before tariffs were announced.

  • The Department of Commerce should define and release metrics that will be used to determine whether U.S. steel manufacturers have the capacity to meet demand, in order to provide greater clarity on how Commerce will make its determination regarding production in the U.S. to supply companies in a sufficient and reasonably available amount.

  • The Department of Commerce should grant categorical exclusions for products it determines are not available in the U.S.

  • The Department of Commerce should defer to companies’ own quality standards and define and release metrics that will be used to determine whether U.S. steel manufacturers have the capacity to meet demand, in order to provide greater clarity on how Commerce will make its determination regarding satisfactory quality steel being produced in the U.S.

The full comment letter with recommended and essential revisions is available on API’s website.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 45 million Americans.