Some U.S. companies anxious for exclusions from Donald Trump’s tariffs are turning to creative ways to get the president’s attention.
One Texas steel pipe maker is promising that it will invest millions and hire new workers in return for a temporary break on tariffs. It’s also offering its employees cash prizes for writing the best postcards to Trump advocating for their case.
Other companies are encouraging workers and customers to join letter-writing campaigns and are teaming up with lawmakers to lobby on their behalf.
“I didn’t know that this would do anything, and I still don’t know, but I’ve got a good feeling about it,” said Joel Johnson, chief executive officer of Borusan Mannesmann Pipe U.S. Inc., which is pitching the investment deal to Trump for its pipe mill and finishing facilities in Baytown, Texas. “I can’t stand by and just not do anything.”’
The Commerce Department has been flooded with almost 19,000 requests so far to have products excluded from Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs. Borusan Mannesmann and other companies are resorting to unconventional means to persuade the administration that the duties, which are intended to help manufacturing, will actually hurt U.S. production and jobs.
“It’s already pretty painful to begin with, and if we don’t get the exclusion, it’s going to be worse for us,” said Ty Taylor, president of South Carolina-based Greenfield Industries Inc., who said that the tariffs are cutting into the company’s profits. Greenfield has asked employees and sales people to write letters seeking support for more than 1,100 exclusion requests. Continue reading . . .