June 6, 2018
The White House
Dear Mr. President:
The U.S. tariff on aluminum imported from Canada, Mexico and the European Union (EU), imposed by your Administration on June 1, is damaging the United States domestic printing industry and ultimately its customers by increasing the cost of raw material used to produce high quality lithographic printing plates that are widely relied upon for commercial printing. Because of this adverse development, I write to strongly object to this policy on behalf of the Association for Print Technologies’ (APTechSM) member companies that domestically produce these essential printing tools.
With the proposed aluminum tariff that was first announced on March 14 held in abeyance, we had hoped it would not actually be imposed, thus avoiding the harm it now brings. Our hope was sustained when your Administration reached agreements with various countries removing their aluminum exports from being subject to the tariff. But regrettably, as no such accommodation was reached with Canada, Mexico or the EU, we are now burdened with the extra cost of a 10% tariff on aluminum imported from them.
While we understand and applaud your concern for American workers who are disadvantaged by unfair trade practices, and support the enforcement of U.S. trade laws designed to preserve free, fair trade and national security, we respectfully disagree with the imposition of this aluminum tariff, which we believe results in more economic harm than benefit when measured against the far greater number of firms and workers that use aluminum in manufacturing products than those who supply the raw material.
In addition to our general aversion to tariffs, APTech’s objection to this aluminum tariff is compounded by the fact that there are no other domestic sources for the specific grade of aluminum necessary to produce high quality printing plates. This fact creates burdensome extra costs with no alternative, but we believe it may also provide the predicate for printing plate manufacturers to qualify for an exclusion from the tariff under the Commerce Department’s announced protocol. While APTech itself is not a manufacturer eligible to seek such exclusions, we do urge your Administration to grant requests for such exclusions that may already have been filed, or which may yet be filed by APTech member companies that warrant it, and that such exclusions be retroactive to June 1 when the tariff was imposed.
Mr. President, we thank you for hearing our concerns and considering our request.
Association for Print Technologies