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Trump administration: Steel imports threaten USA national security


"It is disheartening that Secretary Ross did not recommend to President Trump excluding primary aluminum and cansheet from tariffs and other import restrictions in the Department of Commerce's 232 report".

Recommendations included a tariff of at least 24 percent on all steel imports and a tariff of at least 7.7 percent on all aluminum imports.

"The Commerce Department's recommendations today we hope are the beginning of efforts by this administration to finally get tough on China and help level the playing field for American steel and aluminum producers and workers", Schumer said in a statement.

Another option will be tariffs of at least 53% on steel imports from Brazil, China, Costa Rica, India, Russia, Egypt, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, South Africa, Turkey, and Vietnam.

"We can not be without a steel industry", President Trump said Monday during a White House meeting with lawmakers. "And part of the options would be tariffs coming in", Trump said.

"We make aluminum and we make steel in Missouri, but we buy a lot of aluminum and we buy a lot of steel as well, from bass boats to beer cans", Blunt said.




Already, there are reports that the European Union - one of the biggest exporters of steel to the USA - could retaliate with a tariff on U.S. agricultural goods. Although Trump campaigned on a protectionist platform, he has taken only modest action so far to restrict imports. Exports from the European Union to the USA increased to 375 billion euros in 2017 from 363.5 billion euros the year prior, while imports from the US grew to 254.2 billion euros from 250.4 billion euros. This option also includes a quota on the amount of steel that can be imported from these nations.

The 10-month investigation determined that the quantities and circumstance of steel and aluminum imports "threaten to impair the national security".

The options suggested include limiting all countries to steel exports equal to 63 per cent of their 2017 exports into the US, or a more severe quota for a smaller list of countries if Trump goes the more targeted route. Having borne the brunt of lost jobs and declining production caused by unfair and illegal trade and global overcapacity largely fueled by China, our members sent more than 20,000 letters and petitions to the DOC and the White House demanding action.

According to the Aluminum Association, there are five US smelting facilities that are operating with three partial curtailments. "For example, there is only one remaining U.S. producer of the high-quality aluminum alloy needed for military aerospace".

From 2013 to 2016 aluminum industry employment fell by 58%, 6 smelters shut down, and only two of the remaining 5 smelters are operating at capacity, even though demand has grown considerably. "Infrastructure, which is necessary for our economic security, is a major use of aluminum".

An aluminum quota of 86.7% of 2017 exports.

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