Representatives of the air-conditioning industry recently cautioned the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that continuation of tariffs on steel will encourage U.S. companies to move manufacturing facilities abroad. Citing huge price increases to manufacturers who use steel and broken long term contracts, they strongly urged the Bush Administration to end the steel tariffs and help restore America’s ability to compete before more jobs are lost and more U.S. companies are forced to open plants in other lands.

"ARI urges the commission to consider the serious competitive impact of the steel tariff on our industry in its report to the President this September," said William G. Sutton, ARI president. Sutton was joined in submitting testimony by Terry L. Bowman, vice president, Supply Chain Management, York International Corp., and Brian Kelly, president of National Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Products.

Noting that the air conditioning industry employs over 175,000 workers and contributes $17 billion annually to the U.S. economy, Sutton said "As one of my members told me, 'Steel is a fundamental component of everything we make -- every day we pay extra for steel means more industry shifting to Asia.'"