Trade remedies for steel and aluminum were long overdue

Robert E. Scott

Robert E. Scott Senior Economist and Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research, EPI

President Trump said today that he has decided to impose tariffs of 25 percent on all steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports, promising to sign the measures next week. Trade remedies for steel and aluminum were long overdue. Trump promised quick action after announcing investigations of the national security threats imposed by steel and aluminum imports nearly a year ago. Delays worsened the import crisis for thousands of U.S. steel and aluminum workers, many of whom are facing layoffs and plant closing announcements.

The crisis in steel and aluminum trade is driven by the development of massive amounts of excess production capacity, which has resulted in import dumping by China and a number of other countries singled out in the Commerce Department’s reports on its “section 232” investigations into the impact of imports of steel and aluminum products on national security. In its reports, which presented tariffs as one of three optional responses, the department found that unfair steel and aluminum imports “threaten to impair the national security.” In addition to China, other key countries identified in the Commerce reports included Brazil, South Korea, Russia, Vietnam, and 6 others in steel; and Hong Kong, Russia, Venezuela, and Vietnam in aluminum.

Now that the tariffs have been announced, the United States should work with other nations to develop coordinated responses to unfair trade in these products. This announcement should mark the beginning, rather than the end, of efforts to develop coordinated global responses to the problems of excess capacity in steel and aluminum trade.


Reposted from EPI

Smart Cities Prevail

Smart Cities Prevail

Union Matters

No More Wall Street Giveaways

By the AFL-CIO

Every single challenge faced by working people can be traced back to the greed of powerful corporations and CEOs, which is why America’s leaders should be holding Wall Street accountable, not weakening consumer protections and opening the door to risky banking practices and predatory lending.

Working people call on our elected leaders to oppose legislation from Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) to roll back and eliminate sections of the 2010 Dodd–Frank Act. Congress should be building on that landmark law so working families and our communities can thrive.

More ...