Ford Says Tariffs Make Steel from U.S. Costliest Anywhere

October 22, 2018 at 2:55 PM

Ford Motor Co. says U.S. tariffs on imported steel have made the domestically produced metal the world’s most expensive.

Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford global operations, tells reporters that rising prices are making the carmaker’s U.S.-built vehicles less competitive in overseas markets.

The price of U.S.-made hot-rolled coil steel, which is used to make car bodies and structural components, has soared 28% this year to a 10-year high of $920 per metric ton, according to Bloomberg News. It says the U.S. price compares with about $770 per ton for Chinese steel.

The jump in domestic prices followed the Trump administration’s decision to begin charging import tariffs in June of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum. The White House justifies the taxes as necessary to protect national security.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett told Bloomberg last month that the two tariffs will cost the company $1 billion in lost profits in 2018-2019.