The biggest fan of Trump’s steel tariffs is suing over them


"John Hritz, president and chief executive officer of JSW Steel USA Inc., put on a big smile and a Texas flag pin for his television spot on Fox Business in March 2018. “It’s a special day,” he told his host, then told her again: “It’s a special day.” JSW Steel’s India-based parent company, JSW Group, had announced it would invest $500 million and create 500 jobs at its steel mill in Baytown, Texas. “We’re going to make history,” Hritz said.

Hritz was counting on help from President Trump, who three weeks earlier had announced his intention to impose tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum imported to the U.S. The Fox anchor wondered if the import levies might interfere with JSW’s Baytown plan, given that much of the raw steel processed at the mill was imported from India and Mexico. “Absolutely not,” Hritz said. On the tariffs, JSW was “in lockstep with the president and with the administration.”

Not so much anymore. A big piece of the Baytown project has been postponed indefinitely, in part because of Trump’s tariffs. Both Baytown and a sister plant in Ohio, where JSW once planned to invest another $500 million, have been operating at unprofitably low production levels, also owing in part to the tariffs. JSW has sued the administration for refusing to exempt it from paying the levies on the massive slabs of steel the company imports and turns into pipe and other products for industrial use. “It’s the hypocritical nature of these tariffs that’s completely dumbfounding us,” says Parth Jindal, director of JSW Steel USA and managing director of JSW Cement Ltd. in India. “It just doesn’t add up.”"

Comments (5)
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Wait! You mean Mexico is not paying for the tariffs?

Tariffs hurt the businesses and the consumers, period.

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Izzy Mn(4)

Sounds like they were a big fan and had dreams of making a killing off Trump's poor business decisions. They were duped like everyone else and will be thrown under the bus and will be called rats and not faithful by their dear Leader. Fools.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

I thought China was paying for the tariffs. Didn't our president tell us so?

People are dumb, and other people count on it.

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Interesting article. Despite the famous Trump line, "Trade wars are good, and easy to win," it goes to show you what anyone with even slight knowledge of the effects of tariffs will tell you, trade wars have wide-reaching and unexpected consequences. This company banked everything on getting an exception from Trump, and then didn't get it.

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I guess the US Steel companies didn't outbid the Canadian companies. Free markets you know....

Twitter thread from Eric Lipton NYT:

Atlas Tube is owned by a Canadian citizen whose company used one of his US based subsidiaries to donate more than $1 million to a Trump SuperPac. Now he is profiting by selling his steel tube for the border wall.

For more on this topic....

Also generated a complaint to Federal Election Commission that this was an illegal campaign contribution

Here is the complaint, which was based on my reporting.

CHICAGO, IL 6060610/17/18$500,000
CHICAGO, IL 6060606/04/18$250,000
CHICAGO, IL 6060604/05/18$1,000,000

Barry Zekelman, the CEO also was at Trump International Hotel in DC dinner with Trump in April 2018. Lev Parnas was there too. Whole event was recorded as Zekeman repeatedly pushed Trump to take steps to benefit his businesses. We wrote about that too.

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