Call to Action: Aluminum Tariffs/Cost Impact on Printing Plates

On June 1, President Trump issued Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum imported from various countries, including those in the European Union. Because the highest-quality aluminum used to produce lithographic printing plates is sourced from the EU and generally not available to equipment manufacturers domestically, our industry is hit hard by this tariff.

The reaction by suppliers in our industry--and the pain felt by PIA printer members--has been swift. Within the past three weeks, the major suppliers of aluminum printing plates in the U.S. announced price increases and/or "surcharges" as pass-through costs to customers. All three suppliers pointed directly to the Section 232 tariff impact as a reason for these price increases, demonstrating the need for the entire supply chain to collectively advocate for a solution.

If your company has been notified of printing plate price increases due to the Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum, PIA urges you to notify your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative as soon as possible. Congress must hear tangible examples of how the printing industry is being impacted by trade policy. A pre-written letter to submit to lawmakers on your company letterhead is available here. Please submit by fax or email. Contact information for U.S. Senators is here and for U.S. Representatives is here. For maximum impact, please email copies of your letters to PIA at printpowers [at] so that we can directly advocate on your behalf.

This negative impact was predictable. PIA President and CEO Michael Makin personally took the industry's warning to top-level Department of Commerce officials in a meeting on June 20. He was informed that there was an application process available to printing equipment suppliers to request exclusions from this tariff; however, the 90-day process has been deluged by requests from nearly every U.S. industry sector using steel and aluminum inputs. The timing on when or if printing equipment suppliers will receive exclusions is now undefined.

Sharing the impact of Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum on your company is vital to help the Trump Administration and Congress understand the real-life impact of trade policy on the printing and graphic communications industry. Thank you.

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