Commerce Department Urges Crackdown On Imported Steel And Aluminum

Trump Administration Recommends Stiff Penalties on Steel and Aluminum Imports

Shares of manufacturer United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) jumped as much as 16.5% in trading Friday after the U.S. Department of Commerce gave its options for steel import tariffs.

The Commerce Department recommended a tariff of 7.7% in aluminum imports from all countries, or a tariff of 23.6% on imports from five specific countries.

The Commerce Department argues that growing imports of steel and aluminum - driven in part by overproduction in China - have so weakened America's producers that a future military mobilization could be at risk.

A quota on all steel products from all countries equal to 63% of each country's 2017 exports to the United States.

Trump has until around April 11 to decide whether to impose steel import curbs and April 20 to decide on aluminum restrictions. Any exclusions granted could result in changed tariffs or quotas for the remaining products to maintain the overall effect.

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! "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". Although Trump campaigned on a protectionist platform, he has taken only modest action so far to restrict imports.

Commerce said that it designed the remedies to raise US capacity utilization to about 80 percent for each industry, from the current 48 percent in aluminum and 76 percent in steel.

The European Union's trade surplus with the U.S. widened by 6.8 percent over the past year despite threats of a trade war from U.S. President Donald Trump, who has branded the relationship between the two regions as unfair.

Ross said excessive steel and aluminum imports "threaten to impair the national security", in a 262-page investigative report released Friday. The country's imports are almost four times the amount of exports, according to the report.

The meeting also included brief comments by multiple participants on other trade matters, including South Korea (the KORUS FTA is a "very bad trade deal"), China (is "violating the worldwide rules, stealing our intellectual property, overproducing steel products"), Canada (has "treated us very, very unfairly when it comes to lumber and timber"), and NAFTA (the renegotiations are "making real headway" but still working through a number of issues).

Any action to limit imports is likely to end up raising the price of steel, which could destabilize USA industries from automakers to food packagers.

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. All others would be subject to quotas equal to their 2017 exports to the United States.

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