Citing national security interests, Trump orders investigation into foreign steel
April 19, 2017 8:49 PM
Andrew Harnik/Associated Press
President Donald Trump is expected to order an investigation into steel dumping Thursday, according to an official at the Department of Commerce, which will run the investigation.
Tracie Mauriello / Post-Gazette Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — The government is launching an investigation into steel dumping and other trade practices detrimental to the domestic industry.
President Donald Trump is expected to order the study Thursday, according to an official at the Department of Commerce, which will run the investigation.
It could lead to increased tariffs and penalties on steel imports, the official said.
Authority for the investigation comes from the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which gives Commerce broad authority over trade affecting national security.
Steel trade raises national security concerns because of the country’s reliance on domestic capacity to produce materials for the infrastructure and for defense, the commerce official said.
“Steel dumping puts us in jeopardy when long-term productivity shrinks. That has long-term impact on the supply chain needed to maintain national security,” he said.
Numerous ongoing cases of steel dumping gave rise to the investigation, which Commerce must complete by Nov. 22.
Dumping is a term that describes practices employed by China and other countries to under-price steel exports in order to put U.S. steel companies out of business. Investigators also are expected to look into the use of illegal subsidies that artificially decrease the cost of imports.
The Commerce investigation will not focus on any one country or group of countries, the department source said. Rather, it will focus on trade practices generally.
“We’re at the beginning of the process of identifying something that really needs to be fixed,” the department official said. “This is a priority of the administration.”
Washington Bureau Chief Tracie Mauriello: firstname.lastname@example.org; 703-996-9292 or on Twitter @pgPoliTweets.
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