NEMA Plays Role in Biden Decision to Forego New Tariffs on Rare Earth Magnets

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) supports President Biden’s decision last week to forego the imposition of new tariffs on rare earth Neodymium-Iron-Boron magnets that are vital to U.S. manufacturing.

“NEMA has been a consistent advocate against misguided tariff policies, and it is heartening to see the Biden Administration responding to the concerns of American manufacturers. NEMA wholeheartedly supports the development of a strong and healthy domestic production capacity for rare earth magnets, and new tariffs would have inflicted devastating short-term damage on U.S. competitiveness with little long-term gain,” says Debra Phillips, NEMA president and CEO.

NEMA previously provided comments to the U.S. Department of Commerce during its investigation into U.S. reliance on imported magnets outlining the critical role that these magnets play in technologies across the health care, electronics, energy, and aerospace industries. NEMA’s comments also noted the current inability of the domestic rare earth industry to meet more than a small part of the current demand for these magnets across dozens of vital industries.

“Our members play a vital role in supporting the energy transition and ensuring American consumers can lead happier, healthier lives. These magnets are essential to cutting-edge technologies—from electric cars and wind turbines to medical imaging and consumer electronics—and tariffs would drive prices for these goods higher just as the Biden Administration looks to build a cleaner energy system while combating high inflation,” Phillips says.

“We wholeheartedly support the Commerce Department’s recommendations to invest in domestic rare earth magnet production, secure strong supply chains with allies and incentivize domestic research, development, mining, and production. We hope that these kinds of proactive approaches will continue to be the tool of choice to address supply chain challenges rather than levying new tariffs,” Phillips says.

NEMA recently called on Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to ask President Biden to publicize the results of the Commerce Department investigation to provide certainty to domestic manufacturers who rely on these products.

“We are proud to have played a role in this week’s decision by voicing the interests of our members and the broader U.S. economy. We thank President Biden and our champions in Congress for their work on this issue,” Phillips says.  

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