Several members of Indiana’s congressional delegation are weighing in on President Donald Trump’s executive orders imposing a 25 percent tariff on all imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on all imported aluminum. Canada and Mexico are exempt from the actions, which are slated to take effect March 23, and the order leaves room for allies of the United States to discuss their own exemptions. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business just before the order was signed, Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) said he supports actions against China, who he says "is cheating" and needs to be held accountable. Young added that once the tariffs are in place, he’ll work to ensure the actions don’t trigger negative effects on Indiana industries, like manufacturing, that use steel and aluminum.
"We have a lot of workers throughout the state of Indiana who make things — who make things with both aluminum and steel — and to the extent prices could go up disproportionately, it could adversely impact these businesses that have global supply chains," Young said. "So, a balance needs to be struck here. It has to be targeted towards China and on the back end of this, there needs to be a process through which we exempt those businesses that were unfairly or inadvertently targeted." In a statement released after Trump signed the executive order, Young said "I will keep working with Hoosier stakeholders and the administration to address the core issue of Chinese overcapacity so that we can continue to reinvigorate the American steel and aluminum industries."
Senator Joe Donnelly also issued a statement. It reads: "Trade is critical for Indiana’s economy – from our manufacturers to our farmers – but it must be fair. For too long Hoosier workers have fought unfair competition from countries like China. I’m pleased that President Trump is taking action, and I plan to carefully review the details of his proclamations. It’s important that we get this policy right, so that American steel and aluminum producers and their workers can compete on a level playing field and continue to support good-paying jobs."
On the House side of the capital, Representative Pete Visclosky (D-1), who is vice chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus and serves a district that includes the some of the state’s most high-profile steelmakers, said in an op-ed for our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana:
I supported the President’s initiative to undertake the Section 232 investigation of the consequences of illegally traded steel on our national security and economy and I appreciate his action. I will continue to closely monitor the implementation and enforcement of this action, particularly as it relates to exemptions or modifications for countries, products, or the duration of the relief.
Representative Jackie Walorski’s (R-2) district is home to major manufacturers in industries like recreational vehicles and LaPorte County’s Alcoa aerospace facility. She said:
While the exemption of some U.S. trading partners is a step in the right direction, these tariffs remain too broad and will put Hoosier jobs at risk. Anything other than a balanced and targeted approach will raise costs for manufacturers, slow our economic momentum, and let bad actors like China off the hook. I will continue listening to Hoosiers while working to narrow this policy and minimize any negative impact on local businesses and workers.