White House Holds Meeting to Discuss Aluminum and Steel Trade Actions

Trump Administration Recommends Stiff Penalties on Steel and Aluminum Imports

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Friday recommended an array of stiff tariffs and other tough trade actions on imports of steel and aluminum from China and other nations, saying the influx of foreign metals has compromised national security.

Trump instructed the Commerce Department previous year to probe whether imports of steel and aluminum represent a threat to USA national security. Additionally, no country will be able to export more than of 86.7 percent of the amount of aluminum they sold to the U.S.in 2017, Axios says.

Trump said the USA steel and aluminum industries "are being decimated by dumping and from many countries".

Ross said that the decline in production capacity is "weakening our internal economy and may impair our national security", in the report. Some companies in the steel industry, as well as unions such as United Steelworkers, have been pushing the president to come down hard on imports.

What the Commerce Department found is that the United States is the largest importer of steel in the world.

The measures are meant to increase US production to 80 percent of capacity in both industries. For certain types of steel, such as for electrical transformers, only one US producer remains.

On the other hand, tariffs could help steel and aluminum makers regain market share lost to cheaper imports from China, Russia and elsewhere. Both times - in a 1999 case involving oil imports and a 2001 case involving iron ore and steel imports - the Commerce Department refused to recommend sanctions.

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According to the Aluminum Association, there are five US smelting facilities that are operating with three partial curtailments. The first was a 7.7 percent tariff on all countries and all products.

"You see what's happened with our steel and aluminum industries".

Aluminum imports have risen to 90% of total demand for primary aluminum, up from 66% in 2012. "Not only do we now have a steel surplus with Canada, but we share a border and have synergistic strategic, economic, and national security interests".

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross last month submitted his department's final reports to Trump on steel and aluminum. Market participants want to know what the remedy will be because the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the investigations has made it hard to make business decisions. As of February 15, 2018, the USA had two antidumping and countervailing duty orders in place on aluminum, both against China, and there are four ongoing investigations against China.

A tariff of 23.6% on all products from China, Hong Kong, Russia, Venezuela and Vietnam.

"As they dump steel, they pay tariffs - substantial tariffs - which means the U.S. would actually make a lot of money, and probably steel industry and aluminum industry would come back into our country".

Each of the three proposals is meant to raise production of aluminum from the present 48% average capacity to 80%, a level that would provide the industry with long-term viability.



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