Donald Trump promised to help out American steelworkers during the presidential campaign by enacting tariffs on foreign steel imports.
The New York Times reports, the president has yet to put those tariffs into effect — and it’s forcing the steel industry to lay off workers.
His lack of action so far on tariffs has actually made things progressively worse for American steel because foreign manufacturers have been rushing to dump cheap steel onto the market before tariffs hit.
“According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, which tracks shipments, steel imports were 19.4 percent higher in the first 10 months of 2017 than in the same period last year,” the publication writes.
The Trump administration does have its reasons for not acting on steel tariffs, as American auto manufacturers have said they might have to conduct layoffs of their own if they have to pay more for steel made in America.
However, that’s of little comfort to steel workers who backed Trump expecting immediate action to help protect their jobs. Chuck Hauer, a pro-Trump steelworker who is likely to be laid off from his steel plant job in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, says he understands why Trump is holding off — but he says the workers at plants can’t wait much longer.
“He’s just delaying it,” he tells the Times. “And I think the delay is hurting us more than he knows.”