Commerce Dept. report recommends Trump slap tariffs on foreign steel, aluminum

US proposes hefty import curbs on steel aluminum

Trump Administration Recommends Stiff Penalties on Steel and Aluminum Imports

The Commerce Department on Friday recommended setting strict new limits on imported steel and aluminum, saying action is needed to shore up US industries vital to national security.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, he said, submitted the result of the investigations to him this month.

A tariff of 23.6% on all products from China, Hong Kong, Russia, Venezuela and Vietnam. He proposed a final alternative that involved no tariffs, but a quota on all steel products from all countries equal to 63 percent of their exports to the United States in 2017.

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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. "And part of the options would be tariffs coming in", Trump said.

Ross was asked whether the 232 remedies could pose a risk to downstream workers, such as those in the automotive industry, if those plants moved out of the U.S. in reaction to the possible restrictions on aluminum and steel. "And we presented the President with a range of alternatives that goes from a big tariff on everything from everywhere, to very selective tariffs from a very selective group of countries". Trump take action based on the recommendations he receives, or he may opt not to take any action. The president could also consider the countries' willingness to work with the United States to address global excess capacity and other challenges facing the USA aluminum and steel industries. Fiat Chrysler's USA shares were unchanged. The investigation sought to determine whether the imports posed a threat to the country's national security.

Ross criticized China, the world's largest producer of steel, for overproduction.

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Companies can also seek appeals based on USA production of steel and aluminum and specific national security-based considerations. "Our comments included non-exhaustive lists of steel and aluminum products that must be excluded from any import adjustments to keep our industry running smoothly".

"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. For example, there is only one remaining USA producer of the high-quality aluminum alloy needed for military aerospace.

Even beer companies, which use aluminum to make their millions of cans, could be hurt. All others would be subject to quotas equal to their 2017 exports to the United States.

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