Kennedy Fabricating is a company that uses steel and, according to its website, is “the leading custom steel fabricator serving the [telecommunications] industry in the southern U.S. and is a preferred vendor with numerous national cell tower owners, operators, and general contractors.”

In his testimony, Kennedy spoke about how the family-owned business survived many economic hardships, including the 2008 market crash, but said that the steel tariffs seem like the worst thing to happen to the company yet.

[W]ithout any competition, U.S. steel producers have raised prices over 40 percent. Why should we pay 40 percent more here than our foreign competitors pay in their countries?

This means that a company in China can now purchase a raw steel beam from a Chinese mill at a 40 percent discount, drill two holes in it, and ship it to the U.S. as a fabricated good without a tariff.


Another group similar to the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users had the opportunity to make its voice heard at the Ways and Means Committee hearing. The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association comprises more than 1,000 companies that manufacture vehicle parts.

Ann Wilson, senior vice president of the association, testified about the tariff-exclusion application process and the issues companies have experienced. The “[exclusion] process is already creating significant burdens on these companies,” Wilson said. “The exclusion-request process lacks transparency and will be particularly burdensome for small manufacturers. It is unbalanced and appears to not allow for successful outcomes for downstream users.”

The process established by the Commerce Department penalizes American companies for using imported goods as inputs, even if the source country is a free-trade partner and the imports in question are being sold at market value.