The association representing American HVAC manufacturers calls threatened new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports “injurious” to the sector and to manufacturing jobs in general. The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) is expressing disappointment over U.S. President Donald Trump’s March 1 announcement of a pending 25 per cent tariff on steel and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminum.
“The HVACR and water heating industry would be negatively impacted by an increase in tariffs, as would the consumers that rely on the products we manufacture,” Stephen Yurek, AHRI’s president and chief executive officer, reiterated in a statement reacting to President Trump’s assertions.
AHRI was also among 25 U.S. industry associations that petitioned President Trump and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross earlier this week to disregard two Department of Commerce reports believed to be the basis for the move to dramatically heighten the tariffs. The reports, released in mid January, concluded that the current level of steel and aluminum imports weakens the U.S. internal economy and could impair national security. They urged “quotas or tariffs” that would allow domestic steel and aluminum producers to ramp up to 80 per cent of their capacity.
In turn, the 25 industry associations predict such actions will lead to thousands of job losses within the United States. “Historical and current data shows that the remedies prescribed in the reports will significantly raise input costs for industries that use these products,” they wrote in a joint letter — noting that these industries are “cumulatively far larger in terms of employment than steel and aluminum.”