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Page 82 of 123 ROCK products • August 2018 • 81 covers machines and equipment parts used in aggregate pro- duction (sorting, screening, separating, washing, crushing and grinding). NSSGA submitted comments to the USTR requesting that subheading 8474 be exempted from the additional duties. This request was denied, and USTR is expected to publish the process for requesting an exemption in the next few weeks. The agency is also expected to open comments soon on additional 284 HTS codes being considered for a 25 percent duty. "It's frustrating to see additional economic burdens placed on the small businesses who help create our infrastructure system," said Ashley Amidon, senior director of legislative affairs. "NSSGA will continue to oppose any additional tariffs on the industry." "Imposing tariffs places the cost of China's unfair trade prac- tices squarely on the shoulders of American consumers, manufacturers, farmers and ranchers. This is not the right approach," said Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Cham- ber of Commerce. On June 14, nine major construction industry organizations sent separate letters to Senate leadership and the Trump administration opposing recently implemented tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Canada, the European Union and Mexico. Signatories included the Association of Equipment Manu- facturers, the Associated General Contractors of America, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, NSSGA, the Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance, the American Concrete Pipe Association, the National Utility Contractors Association and the National Asphalt Pavement Association. The letter to the U.S. Senate is in support of Sen. Bob Corker's (R-Tenn.) bipartisan legislation (S. 3013) that would require congressional approval of tariffs deemed national securi- ty-related under Section 232 of the of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. In the letters, the trade organizations expressed opposition to the tariffs on steel and aluminum, particularly highlighting the impact it will have on equipment prices. "The tariffs on Canada will result in a shortage of the raw materials used to manufacture construction equipment while driving up costs for contractors and other customers who purchase the machinery," the groups wrote. The groups cautioned policymakers that the tariffs will only exasperate delays in manufacturers meeting customer equipment demand. The organizations stated, "The tariffs on Canada, the European Union and Mexico will further disrupt the supply chain, resulting in delays in product com- pletion, an increase in costs for equipment purchasers and inadequate quantities of new construction equipment to help rebuild America." Association of Equipment Manufacturers President Dennis Slater expressed his disappointment after the steel tariffs were announced by President Trump. "The equipment-man- ufacturing industry is profoundly disappointed at President Trump's actions to advance import tariffs on steel and aluminum. These 'Trump Tariffs' will put U.S. equipment manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage, risk undoing the strides our economy has made due to tax reform, and ultimately pose a threat to American workers' jobs." The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) also weighed in on the negative impact of the tariffs. "History shows the imposition of tariffs has the potential to increase the price of imported commodities and products," the organization said in a statement. "Steel is an important input for transportation construction – for every $1 spent on highway and bridge construction, 10 cents goes toward steel-related materials. As such, if President Trump's new tariff on steel leads to price increases, there will be adverse effects on the transportation construction industry's ability to deliver needed infrastructure improvement projects. The association noted that if prices increase for steel – whether domestic or imported – costs will also likely rise for construction and mining equipment, along with parts needed for maintenance. One U.S. equipment manufacturer, Terex Corp., announced March 6 it would implement a steel surcharge on its equipment to recoup the cost of steel price increases caused by the administration's tariff. Increased costs of purchasing and maintaining mining equip- ment that has steel components will result in increased costs of construction aggregates that are integral to projects The Associated Equipment Dealers (AED) is concerned about the impact the tariffs could have on equipment distributors, manufacturers and their customers, and the effect on the cost of future infrastructure projects. The association said it will closely monitor implementation of the tariffs and work with other industry organizations, the administration and Con- gress to limit its impact on construction equipment dealers. "The United States operates in a global economy and when a country takes protectionist measures it will always raise concerns about the negative impacts," said AED President and CEO Brian P. McGuire, following the White House announce- ment. "However, similar to legislative and regulatory actions, the details matter and implementation is crucial. The coming weeks will be important to assess the Trump administration's commitment to accommodating the concerns of our key trading partners and allies and the impact it will have on on-going trade agreement negotiations, such as NAFTA. Accessible and efficient international trade is critical to continued economic growth and international competitiveness." Aggregates Industry Almanac Economic Update

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