The actions that governments take around the world can have significant impact—both positive and negative—on Mauser Packaging Solutions, our employees, customers and partners. We think it is important for our government leaders to understand the impact of policies. Therefore, on appropriate issues, we advocate in a manner consistent with all governing laws and our Four Cornerstones.
In 2018 and 2019, the Section 232 tariff on steel and aluminum has had an impact on Mauser Packaging Solutions. The tariff, which was designed to support the United States steel industry, has significantly raised the cost of steel, particularly in the US. Tariffs have been costly to not only Mauser Packaging Solutions but also most manufacturing firms who use steel as a raw material. Companies that are forced to spend money on tariffs are unavailable to spend that money for capital expenditure, hiring of additional employees, and development of new products.
As of June 2019, Mauser has submitted over 35 requests to the US Department of Commerce petitioning steel products to be exempt from tariffs. We will continue to actively file exemption request and work with our senators and congressional representatives to explain the hardships that trade tariffs bring to our business and our employees.
Participating in political activity is a responsibility of the company but also a responsibility of our employees. It is through our political involvement that we all help shape the policy agenda for our industry and impact the communities in which we live.