Wholesale costs in the USA are decelerating–the newest signal that inflationary pressures could also be easing greater than a 12 months after the Federal Reserve began growing rates of interest. That is excellent news for American shoppers. For the primary time because the Nice Recession, one in two Individuals says they’re worse off financially than they had been the 12 months earlier than.

But amid this stress, one steelmaker in Ohio, Cleveland-Cliffs, is urging the federal authorities to take an ill-advised motion that may assure its profitability on the expense of each household’s funds.

The steelmaker desires Secretary Gina Raimondo’s Commerce Division to impose tariffs of as much as 300% on “tinplate” merchandise from eight international locations. Cleveland-Cliffs filed the petition together with their union. U.S. Metal, the one different main tin mill metal producer within the U.S., opted to not take part.

Tinplate metal is utilized in every kind of cans and containers, for every thing from soup, canned greens, and tuna to family cleaners and bug spray. American producers import tons of tinplate metal each month.

Cleveland-Cliffs says international producers are dumping their metal within the American market at unfair costs. Making the most of the geopolitical second, the corporate has targeted its grievance on China. However tinplate will not be a nationwide safety difficulty, and China is a purple herring. It’s not the principle supply of U.S. imports, making up lower than 10%.

Our closest European allies would face the majority of the tinplate duties, in a transfer that’s positive to upset trans-Atlantic companions whereas driving grocery costs larger. That’s exactly the intent of Cleveland-Cliffs: turning to the tariffs and abusing U.S. commerce insurance policies after seeing margins sag simply as metal costs settled down from COVID-era highs. By imposing the duties on international metal, Cleveland-Cliffs intends to regain these margins and drive a pricing ground, paid for by U.S. shoppers.

In the end, bizarre folks would bear these extra prices, by means of larger costs. The common American has about 24 canned items stocked within the pantry at any given time. 9 in 10 mother and father say they use not less than some canned gadgets to feed their households every week.

Increased costs for canned items can be an particularly massive burden for these struggling to make ends meet. The 42 million Individuals enrolled within the Supplemental Vitamin Help Program, or SNAP, are already dealing with as much as a whole lot of {dollars} a month in cuts to their advantages as will increase put in place through the pandemic expire.

These tariffs would additionally devastate those that depend on meals pantries to feed themselves and their households. Yearly, over 53 million Individuals rely upon the nation’s 60,000-plus meals banks, pantries, and meal packages. Non-perishable canned items are important to conserving these efforts working.

Tariff proponents say it’s international firms who pay them. Unsuitable. It’s U.S. shoppers. In response to a brand new report on Trump-era metal tariffs from the Worldwide Commerce Fee, each 1% improve in tariffs results in a rise within the worth of imports of almost 1%.

In different phrases, tariffs are handed on on to U.S. producers and shoppers. Cleveland-Cliffs is, fairly actually, proposing a “can tax,” with the receipts paid to them. This new spherical of proposed tariffs would line the pockets of the corporate asking for them, a $10 billion mining and metal manufacturing conglomerate whose yearly income has elevated tenfold because the onset of the pandemic. Cleveland Cliffs took full benefit of report metal costs then, to not point out Part 232 tariffs and import quotas they already take pleasure in on tinplate. 

U.S. metal producers solely have the capability to supply about 50% of all of the tinplate metal wanted for home canned items wants–and that metal usually doesn’t meet varied high quality necessities set forth by can producers. Some forms of tinplate, like drawn-and-ironed metal, aren’t even made within the U.S. by Cleveland-Cliffs. However who desires information to get in the way in which of a superb story? If the duties are imposed, each American family can pay the can tax each time they go to the grocery retailer.

The proposed tariffs would power the patron merchandise trade to offset the “can tax” worth will increase by growing the value for shoppers or reducing manufacturing. Our trade gives 20.4 million Individuals jobs–10.4% of complete employment–and contributes over $2 trillion to our economic system. That’s greater than 10 instances the variety of iron and metal jobs and roughly 4 instances the financial output of American iron and metal firms. One latest examine from the Commerce Partnership discovered that for each metal employee who would profit from the tariffs, 600 different manufacturing staff in downstream industries would see their livelihoods threatened.

Individuals shouldn’t must subsidize multi-billion-dollar metal firms on the grocery checkout. The Biden administration ought to reject this outrageous petition.

David Chavern is president and CEO of Client Manufacturers Affiliation, the commerce affiliation for America’s $2.1 trillion meals, beverage, and client merchandise trade.

The opinions expressed in Fortune.com commentary items are solely the views of their authors and don’t essentially mirror the opinions and beliefs of Fortune.

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