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Commerce Department recommends tariffs on steel, aluminum
17 February 2018, 12:44 | Ruby West
White House Holds Meeting to Discuss Aluminum and Steel Trade Actions
While there is little doubt that steel is necessary for US military superiority, as R Street pointed out in a January policy study by Trade Policy Manager Clark Packard, only 3 percent of steel shipped domestically in 2016 was used for national security or homeland security purposes.
Trump is facing resistance to tariffs from lawmakers in his own party. The alert by the European Commission also followed Trump's decision earlier in January to impose tariffs on USA imports of solar panels and washing machines on the basis of rarely used "safeguard" rules.
David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now. and United States Steel wasn't one of them! The President may take a range of actions, or no action, based on the analysis and recommendations provided in the reports.
According to the Aluminum Association, there are five USA smelting facilities that are operating with three partial curtailments.
The president is required to make a decision on the steel recommendations by April 11 and on the aluminum recommendations by April 19. "Other countries will retaliate, killing the very exports and American jobs this administration seeks to promote".
Companies can also seek appeals based on USA production of steel and aluminum and specific national security-based considerations.
The reports recommend that Ross be allowed to grant requests from US companies to exclude specific products if the USA lacks sufficient domestic capacity or for national security considerations. U.S. Steel up 2 percent, and AK Steel up 1.1 percent.
Among its key findings, the report found that the United States is the world's largest importer of steel - with imports almost four times greater than its exports.
"With more than 150 antidumping and countervailing duties on the books, steel is one of the most heavily protected domestic industries", Packard said.
"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.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the recommendations Friday. According to the latest industry data, Chinese primary aluminum capacity grew by 9 percent in 2017 while capacity in the rest of the world declined by about 0.5 percent.
For aluminum, Ross recommended a tariff of 7.7% on imports from all countries, or a tariff of 23.6% on imports from five specific aluminum exporters, again including China and Russian Federation.
The department suggests a variety of ways the United States could act to restrict imports.
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