Trump Threatens Trade Action on Steel, Aluminum Imports
February 14, 2018
U.S. President Donald Trump says he is considering tariffs,
quotas, and retaliatory taxes on imports of steel and aluminum
from countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea.
The comments came during a wide-ranging trade discussion Tuesday
between Trump and a bipartisan group of lawmakers at the White
The president said U.S. steel and aluminum industries are being
"decimated" by the "dumping" of cheap imports of those materials
into U.S. markets.
Trump has long threatened what he calls "reciprocal" trade
action to deal with steel, aluminum, and other imports.
But he has so far avoided taking any major steps, ostensibly out
of fear of hurting the country's strong economic performance
since he took office.
Several lawmakers on Tuesday urged Trump to be cautious when
considering retaliatory trade steps, saying such measures could
spark a trade war that leads to higher prices for U.S. producers
"It's very, very much a double-edged sword," Trump conceded.
"I want to keep prices down, but I also want to make sure that
we have a steel industry and an aluminum industry," he added.
The Trump administration is currently renegotiating the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as well as the U.S.-Korea
Free Trade Agreement with South Korea.
Trump called the U.S.-South Korea deal "very, very bad" and
"horrible." He also said Canada has "treated us very, very
month, the U.S. Commerce Department sent a so-called "232
report" to the White House, examining the national security
impacts of steel and aluminum imports, and giving Trump 90 days
to impose quotas or tariffs.
Under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, the
president can initiate a probe to determine if imports threaten
"It's about our economy," Vice President Mike Pence during the
meeting. "It's about our national security."
Trade was a major topic for Trump during the presidential
campaignhe vowed to impose a 45 percent tax on Chinese imports
and a 35 percent tax on Mexican imports.
But as president Trump has not followed through on those and
other trade threats.