STATEWIDE — Texas’ oil and gas industry leaders say imposing federal tariffs on imported steel and aluminum is a step in the wrong direction.

“The president has called for energy dominance for our nation and this really threatens that,” said Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association. “We are playing an important role strategically for the growth of our nation, providing responsibly produced oil and natural gas and so this coming in at this time is not healthy.”  

The Trump administration announced tariffs on U.S. allies Mexico, Canada and the European Union on June 1. The administration has said it’s about protecting national security and boosting America’s job market.

“We support domestic jobs all the way around,” Staples said. “We’re some of the biggest job creators in what we’re doing today. But we’re afraid this really threatens our ability to add jobs domestically more than it helps it.”

Staples said the oil and natural gas industry is only about three percent of the domestic steel supply.

“So you’re adding a lot of cost without really a market there to provide that to us,” he said.

Click the video link above to watch the full interview with Staples, including his take on what this could mean for NAFTA negotiations.  

Learn more about other issues affecting people across Texas on Capital Tonight airing Monday through Friday at 7 p.m., on channels 1, 8, and 200 in Austin and 14 and 200 in San Antonio. Stick with Spectrum News for continuing 2018 election coverage.