WASHINGTON—The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association became the latest group to criticize the Trump administration's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.
On May 31, various news outlets— including Bloomberg, The Guardian and Reuters—reported that the Trump administration intends to impose the tariffs after delaying the decision earlier this year.
Anne Forristall Luke, president and CEO of the USTMA, said the group is deeply disappointed in the decision.
"Already we are seeing swift retaliation and proposed countermeasures from our closest trading partners which is harmful to America's manufacturers, the U.S. economy and our global relationships," she said in a statement.
"In addition, our members have been clear about the impact of such tariffs on the growing U.S. tire manufacturing industry. These tariffs could undercut future domestic growth, limit the availability of high-quality steel and impact American tire manufacturing jobs."
The Motor & Equipment Manufacturing Association (MEMA) expressed similar sentiments on May 31.
Luke said the $27 billion U.S. tire industry puts more than a quarter of a million people to work in the U.S.
"(USTMA-member) companies operate 57 tire-related manufacturing facilities in 18 states. We have enjoyed years of sustained growth, expanding our footprint across the U.S," Luke said. "It's vital we maintain this domestic growth and economic impact, and yet this action today has the real potential of decelerating these positive trends."
She said high-quality steel is critical for the production of tires.
"U.S. tire manufacturers depend on grades of steel which are unavailable domestically to produce tires," she said. "This is why effective trade policies with countries like Canada and the EU are vital to our business operations."
In 2017, USTMA said its members accounted for 82 percent of the 316 million passenger, light truck and truck tire shipments in the U.S.