AEM President Dennis Slater issued the following statement after President Trump formally announced new import tariffs on steel and aluminum:

The equipment manufacturing industry is profoundly disappointed at President Trump's actions today to advance import tariffs on steel and aluminum. These "Trump Tariffs" will put U.S. equipment manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage, risk undoing the strides our economy has made due to tax reform, and ultimately pose a threat to American workers’ jobs.

Steel accounts for roughly 10 percent of equipment manufacturers' direct costs. The price of steel has already risen in anticipation of the administration's actions, and a 25 percent tariff will only further erode the progress our industry has made over the past year.

Our industry will work tirelessly in the coming days and weeks to convey the negative impacts of these tariffs directly to the Trump administration and members of Congress. President Trump should back away from these tariffs, and redouble his efforts instead on policies that will create manufacturing jobs -- not put them at risk.

Trump's order will raise levies on foreign steel by 25 percent and on imported aluminum by 10 percent. 

Tariffs will begin as soon as 15 days, though Canada and Mexico will be exempted for now. (Trump is tying their exemption to NAFTA negotiations at this time.) Trump also indicated he may consider additional exemptions for national security partners. The U.S. Trade Representative will negotiate exemptions for countries; the Department of Commerce will negotiate industry exemptions.

A number of AEM members have already expressed concern that steel tariffs in particular will raise input costs since most heavy equipment is steel-intensive. Equipment manufacturing jobs are among the 6.5 million jobs supported by downstream industries that make use of steel as an input.

For more information, please reach out to AEM Senior Vice President Nick Yaksich ( or AEM Director of International and Regulatory Affairs Alex Russ (

For more coverage of key issues affecting the equipment industry, subscribe to the AEM Industry Advisor.