R Street Disappointed by Commerce Department's Steel Imports Report

R Street Disappointed by Commerce Department's Steel Imports Report

The administration of US President Donald Trump is considering imposing high tariffs on imported steel on national security grounds.

"We look forward to working with the president on a final decision that helps support continued growth in the USA aluminum industry", said Heidi Brock, President & CEO of the Aluminum Association. There's also an option for 23.6% tariffs on aluminum imports from China, Hong Kong, Russia, Venezuela, and Vietnam, with quotas for all other countries.

In opening the discussions, President Trump stated that while he wants to keep prices down, he also wishes to "make sure that we have a steel industry and aluminum industry, and we do need that for national defense".

The 12 countries are Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Malaysia, South Korea, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

"We can not be without a steel industry", President Trump said Monday during a White House meeting with lawmakers. He told those attending that quotas and tariffs are options on the table.

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The president ordered the investigations of steel and aluminum in April as he implemented get-tough trade policies that were a cornerstone of economic agenda. Our imports are almost four times our exports. Trump take action based on the recommendations he receives, or he may opt not to take any action. U.S. Steel shares were recently up 10% to $43, on track for their their highest close since September 2014. 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. Of particular note, the North American aluminum industry has a long-term, essential trading relationship with Canada, which supports U.S.jobs and industry growth. "Adopting any of these recommendations would create uncertainty of supply for all users, limit growth, and put aluminum products like cansheet at risk".

"In addition, at today's reduced military spending, military consumption of aluminum is a small percentage of total consumption and therefore is insufficient by itself to preserve the viability of the smelters", Commerce said.

"We really don't think there is very much likelihood of that", Ross said, "the reason being if you look at the percentage that steel constitutes of a total price of a auto at the retail level, it's quite small, and if you multiply that by the percentage of the tariff it gets even smaller".

A quota on all imports from all countries equal to a maximum of 86.7% of their 2017 exports to the United States.

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