Trump Administration Exempts Gillette From Steel Tariffs

Gillette will have a respite from the import tariffs imposed on steel by the Trump administration.

The parent company of the shaving brand Procter & Gamble gas said that the brand would get a waiver from the 25 per cent import duty on steel that was imposed by United States President Donald Trump earlier this year.

The primary reason for the exemption from the steel tariffs was because the brand has been unable to find the right type so steel that it requires for the manufacture of its blades and razors within the US, the company said. As a consequence the company has been forced to import them from a Swedish supplier with which it has had an association for over 20 years now. In the exemption request sent to the Trump administration, P&G had said that along with this specialised Swedish supplier, the company have developed “very specialized steel” which is “key to our success and the high-quality products that we produce.”

In the same letter, the company had warned that if it was not granted exemption from the steel import tariffs, its business would be badly hit – especially it’s US manufacturing, and it would be forced to increase prices for its products that would hurt the consumers.

Similar reprieve was granted by the Trump administration in June to the rival of P&G – Edgewell Personal Care, the owner of the razor brands Wilkinson Sword and Schick.

It should be mentioned that Gillette us the world’s largest player in the shaving industry.

There were no comments available from Edgewell to media requests from a comment on the development.

Gillette and its parent company P&G is the leader in the global shaving niche but has been recently hit in the US by changing consumer trend in the market because American men are reportedly shaving to a lesser degree. Additionally, the brand is facing completion from shaving clubs such as Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s which offer cheaper, direct-to-consumer online subscription for consumers.

About 10 per cent of the $66.8 billion in sales last year for P&G was accounted for by its grooming business which includes brands such as Gillette, Braun and Venus razors, blades, and shaving products. But according to Euromonitor data, there was a fall of over 13 per cent in between 2012 and 2017 in the US market share for men’s razors and blades for the company.

The market challenges were compounded by the Trump administration last this March when it announced the imposition of 25 per cent import tariffs on steel and 10 per cent import tariffs on aluminium. The announcement was implemented on its shipments of European steel from two months later from June.

According to the US Commerce Department, requests of exemption from the steel tariffs from about 2500 companies had been approved by the Trump administration by the middle of September. The procedure for application and obtaining of exemption form the tariffs was however altered in September after the Trump administration received complaints from certain businesses that the process was faulty and favoured the large companies and the requests from smaller companies are squashed.

(Adapted from


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