FOX Business’ Grady Trimble reported from the site where the company was holding a groundbreaking ceremony for a new $3 billion mill in Arkansas on Tuesday, noting that Burritt is glad to learn that the deal will include a quota.
The day before, U.S. government officials said they reached an agreement to essentially lift the 25% tariff that former President Trump imposed on imported Japanese steel.
The deal with Japan would not include the first 1.25 million metric tons of imported steel from the tax. That number is equal to the average that Americans imported from the country in 2018 and 2019, effectively doing away with the tariffs while also allowing for taxes to be charged on any imports over that amount.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo argued in a statement that the deal "will strengthen America’s steel industry and ensure its workforce stays competitive, while also providing more access to cheaper steel and addressing a major irritant between the United States and Japan, one of our most important allies."
Burritt argued that the deal is not only credited to the Biden administration, but also President Trump’s administration given Trump had put the tariffs in place to begin with and forced the deal to be negotiated with the European Union and then with Japan.
Trump announced the steel tariffs in 2018 on national security grounds.
"With President Trump, he had a good understanding of how important it was to have steel," Burritt said, stressing that "you really can’t have a country unless you’re making steel because it builds so many things and it’s in so many products."
He then argued that Trump "understood that and he did some good important first efforts at that."
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai argued that the new agreement with Japan along with the other deal last year on steel with the European Union will put the countries in better position to compete against China.
China accounts for the majority of global steel production, according to the World Steel Association.
Trimble reported that there were concerns that cutting the tariffs entirely would lead to a glut of foreign steel on the market, especially coming from China, and noted that Burritt believes that the new deal with Japan will still prove beneficial for U.S. steel companies like his.
The new steel guidelines will go into effect on April 1.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.