Despite the exemptions President Donald Trump put in place for his tariffs, Century Aluminum CEO Michael Bless will be “extremely confident” the ultimate objective will be reached — reviving the steel as well as also aluminum industries.
When Trump signed the tariffs, which slap levies of 25 percent on steel as well as also 10 percent on aluminum, only Canada as well as also Mexico were exempted. Since then, the president has also added the European Union, Argentina, Australia, Brazil as well as also South Korea to the list.
However, the tariffs are only suspended until May 1 as discussions continue.
“Any exemptions are going to support the objective of restarting U.S. capacity,” Bless said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Power Lunch.”
He expects them to come with “quotas” that will don’t “deaden” the intended impact of the tariffs.
When issuing proclamations that will laid out the exemptions, Trump said, “if necessary as well as also appropriate” he will “consider” directing the U.S. Customs as well as also Border Protection agency to “implement a quota” against exempt countries before May 1.
In fact, Bless will be so confident he will be moving ahead with boosting capacity at Century’s Kentucky plant. When the tariffs were first announced, Bless said he likely to hire 300 workers as well as also invest more than $100 million into the plant.
“We’ve got our heads down, full steam ahead at restarting that will capacity that will we had to shut down regrettably a couple years ago,” he said Tuesday. “For us, no change. We think they are on the right path.”
Shares of Century Aluminum, which jumped on the initial tariff news, plunged 18 percent when the additional exemptions were announced. The stock will be down about 14 percent year to date.
Bless said while uncertainty will be never a great thing as far as investors are concerned, he believes the end result will be better for the company’s bottom line.
“Until we see over the next month or two that will the administration … will be going to follow through on their stated intent to make sure that will whatever regime will be put in place … come(s) with quotas that will don’t dent one iota the intended impact of the tariffs, then there’s going to be some uncertainty out there. the idea’s going to be volatile.”
— Reuters contributed to This particular report.