ARLINGTON, VA. — The Consumer Brands Association is celebrating a “complete repudiation” of tin mill steel import tariffs proposed by Cleveland-Cliffs, a steel conglomerate, in mid-2023. On Feb. 6, the International Trade Commission (ITC) voted unanimously to reject a final duty determination posed by the Department of Commerce (DOC) and effectively put an end to Cleveland-Cliffs’ campaign to impose duties of up to 300%.

According to the International Trade Administration, the ITC has the last say in any antidumping and countervailing duty determinations, as it is the agency’s responsibility to investigate how those subsidized imports would injure US industry members — in this case, the canned goods industries. Upon review, the ITC voted against adopting duties proposed by the DOC in January, finding they would indeed harm US workers and consumers.

“The Consumer Brands-led effort has resulted in a true victory for US consumers and manufacturers with the International Trade Commission’s unanimous vote to reject new tariffs on tin mill steel,” said David Chavern, president and chief executive officer of the Consumer Brands Association. “…If the tariffs had been imposed at the levels requested by Cleveland-Cliffs, nearly 40,000 manufacturing jobs would have been put at risk, with consumer prices for canned goods soaring up to 30%.”

According to Chavern, the unanimous vote ensures there will be no antidumping or countervailing duties posed for Canada, China, Germany, Korea, The Netherlands, Taiwan, Turkey or the United Kingdom.

“Today’s result confirms what we’ve known all along — there was no merit to Cleveland-Cliffs’ claims,” he added. “The ITC not only voted today to protect thousands of American manufacturing jobs, but to preserve the integrity of our country’s trade remedy process.”

“America’s food, beverage, household and personal care manufacturers are committed to working with the administration to keep jobs in America, protect the competitiveness of American manufacturing and work toward solutions that address supply chain and business issues impacting the cost of everyday essential products,” Chavern concluded.

The Consumer Brands Association has been battling this tariff proposal for the last six months, including penning a letter of opposition to the ITC and DOC, which was signed by 28 likeminded stakeholders across the manufacturing, food retail and agriculture sectors, including the Pet Food Institute (PFI).

Following ITC’s decision, PFI’s President and CEO Dana Brooks announced the association’s support in the move on Feb. 7.

 “The decision is a victory for consumers and the pet food industry,” Brooks said in a statement. “This decision demonstrates the complete lack of merit of the claims of the petitioner, Cleveland-Cliffs, and means there will be no duties on tin mill steel products imported from Canada, China, Germany, and Korea. The fact is that Cleveland-Cliffs cannot meet the demand of American manufacturers and imposing these tariffs would be harmful economically for US manufacturers, workers and consumers.”

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