CPA Statement on 232 Report on Steel, Aluminum

February 18, 2018

Washington ~ The Coalition for a Prosperous American (CPA) applauded the Department of Commerce reports, released Friday February 17, recommending import restrictions to combat an unprecedented surge of steel and aluminum imports. The recommendations have previously been submitted to President Trump for action, but were made public today. They include tariffs on steel imports ranging from 24% to 53% and on aluminum imports ranging from 8% to 24%.

“Secretary Wilbur Ross has been extremely effective at increasing the Commerce Department’s focus and productivity on fighting global trade cheating,” said Dan DiMicco, Chairman of CPA. “The report shows that strategic conduct, such as subsidies and state-ownership, by other countries has caused many otherwise efficient US companies to close down or lay off workers.”

The investigation is conducted pursuant to section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, a law conveying broad authority to combat import surges that harm national security. There are 164 antidumping and countervailing duty orders in the steel industry resulting from past trade cheating cases. Wrongdoing countries countries include Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

“The Commerce Department recommendations are a credible response to the global overcapacity problem that gave rise to interminable and unsuccessful multilateral efforts to solve,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “The President should act quickly to finalize a remedy and consider whether the Commerce recommendations should be strengthened further.”

“While sector specific remedies are extraordinarily important, trade cheating countries have proven their dedication to overproduction for many years. Downstream buyers are at risk as they face imported product competition made from foreign subsidized steel and aluminum. The administration needs to focus upon protecting the entire supply chain through trade enforcement and by solving our dollar overvaluation problem.”

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