Proposed Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Spur Increased Sourcing Activity at®

Manufacturers evaluating U.S. suppliers in advance of anticipated 
cost increases for mertals from overseas

New York, NY – February 27, 2018 – Thomas, the leading provider of product sourcing, supplier selection and marketing solutions for industry, is reporting an increase in sourcing activity for steel and aluminum by buyers sourcing within the Thomas Network at This increase in activity aligns with the recent announcement by the Commerce Department that it is recommending steep tariffs on foreign imports of the metals. (View Thomas Index Report video.)

“Our data shows that month-over-month sourcing activity for steel is up 46 percent on our platform; for steel pipe it’s up 48 percent, and for aluminum sheets it’s up 40 percent,” said Thomas President and CEO Tony Uphoff. “This could be due to manufacturers trying to line up U.S. suppliers in advance of the proposed tariffs kicking in and sending the costs of foreign metals soaring.”

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has recommended tariffs of 24 percent on steel, and 7.7 percent on aluminum. The stated goal is to boost U.S. output to at least 80 percent of capacity by cutting steel imports by 13.3 million metric tons, and aluminum imports by 669,000 tons. President Trump has until mid-April to decide on what action his administration will ultimately take.

“It will be interesting to keep an eye on sourcing activity for these metals as the April decision date approaches, and additional news comes out,” continued Uphoff. “The proposed tariffs represent significant cost increases, and when you consider that the U.S. imported almost 27 million metric tons of steel alone in 2017, you start to get some idea of how this could impact U.S. metals suppliers.”

Through its weekly Thomas Index Report, Thomas highlights sourcing trends based on buyer activity data generated in the Thomas Network at, industry’s leading platform for product sourcing and supplier selection. Over 1 million industrial buyers visit every month for information on more than 500,000 North American suppliers, offering products and services in over 60,000 categories.

In addition to the month-over-month upward trend in sourcing for steel and aluminum, Thomas data shows these to be the top 10 product/service categories sourced at over the past 12 weeks:

  • Printed Circuit Boards
  • Injection Molded Plastics
  • Steel
  • Metal Stampings
  • CNC Machining
  • Machining
  • Corrugated Boxes
  • Contract Manufacturing
  • Metal Fabrication
  • Fasteners

About Thomas

Thomas provides actionable information, data, analysis and tools that align with and support today’s industrial buying process. Its solutions include the Thomas Network at®, industry’s largest and most active buyer/supplier network. Through Thomas Marketing, the company provides full-service industrial marketing programs and website development. Thomas Product Data Solutions helps manufacturers connect with design engineers through advanced CAD/BIM and data syndication services. Thomas Insights delivers original content to help marketers and supply chain professionals inform their decision-making, through leading titles including Inbound Logistics®, Industrial Equipment News® (IEN®), Thomas Industry Update, and the Thomas Index™.

Media Contacts:

Alex Kofsky

Rita Lieberman

Article distributed by BusinessWire.



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