Ford is escalating its criticism of the Trump administration’s metals tariffs, which the company says took a $1 billion bite out of its profit.

“U.S. steel costs are more than anywhere else in the world,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of global operations, said Monday at an event marking the start of Ranger pickup production at a factory west of Detroit. He added that Ford is talking to the administration about the tariffs.

“We tell them that we need to have competitive costs in our market in order to compete around the world.”

Ford Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett last month called on President Donald Trump’s administration to resolve trade disputes quickly, warning that it would otherwise do “more damage” to the second-largest American automaker. He said the company sustained the roughly $1 billion hit to profit despite the fact that it sources most of the materials from the U.S.

Domestic hot-rolled coil — the benchmark price for American-made steel — has gained 28 percent in 2018 as the Trump administration implemented tariffs on imports. The levies helped push the price to about $920 a metric ton earlier this year, the highest in a decade.

U.S. steel currently costs about $150 more per metric ton than steel in China, the world’s biggest consumer.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.