Pennsylvania, Ohio congressional members propose titanium manufacturing bill

© Shutterstock

U.S. Reps. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) recently offered a bipartisan bill in Congress that would temporarily suspend duties on imports of titanium sponge, an essential raw material used in aircraft frames, jet engines, helicopters, and missiles, among other products.

Currently, because titanium sponge is not produced domestically, American manufacturers must import the material from abroad and pay a 15 percent tariff. This puts them at a cost disadvantage and negatively impacts their ability to compete with foreign producers in Russia and China, according to the lawmakers.

“The current 15-percent tariff on imported titanium sponge puts an unnecessary burden on American producers, especially the producers of critical products needed for our national defense,” said Rep. Wenstrup, the bill’s sponsor. “By providing a temporary waiver of these tariffs, we can ensure American producers can compete on the international stage while securing the supply chain for critical supplies needed for our defense industry.”

Entitled the Securing America’s Titanium Manufacturing Act of 2024, H.R. 8912, the measure is cosponsored by Rep. Kelly and five other congressmen, who introduced the bill on June 28 in an effort to ensure that U.S. titanium manufacturers and workers can compete with Russian and Chinese state-owned enterprises in the global titanium marketplace.

“This critical legislation would level the playing field for American titanium manufacturers to compete on the global stage,” Rep. Kelly said on July 3. “By removing the 15-percent  tariff on titanium sponge, we can strengthen American companies, boost our defense industrial base, and reduce costs for both companies and producers.”

Eric Fanning, president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association, pointed out that titanium is vital to the U.S. aerospace and defense industry.

“From jet engines to landing gear, it’s used in every major platform,” said Fanning, who added that the newly introduced bill “will ensure reliable access to this vital mineral.”

Toronto, Ohio-based TIMET, the only fully integrated titanium supplier in the U.S., also supports the proposed bill.

“In addition to benefiting the U.S. industry, this bill will also have a direct, positive effect on TIMET’s hardworking employees in Toronto, Ohio,” said TIMET General Manager Corey Checkan. “This initiative will enhance American competitiveness in the global titanium market and strengthen our national security supply chain.”