The administration is considering a negotiated solution to tackle steel overcapacity that could involve “voluntary” agreements, House Ways & Means Committee members said on Thursday after being briefed by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on his Section 232 investigations.
[Jenny Leonard and Jack Caporal | July 27, 2017 |Inside US Trade]
Ways & Means members who met with Ross on July 27 stressed that the Commerce secretary showed he was aware of the complexities of the steel and aluminum investigations, as well as the implications of any actions that might follow their conclusion, but said he maintained that the status quo was unsustainable.
Several committee members, including Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Reps. Sandy Levin (D-MI) and Judy Chu (D-CA), said Ross understands the potential for retaliation as a result of any Section 232 actions. Accordingly, they said, he knows a negotiated solution to the steel and aluminum overcapacity crises could be a preferable outcome.
“He said that the current forms that we have, the WTO and the global steel forums, have not been adequate in addressing this issue and that he is hoping for some way to negotiate in a dialogue with these countries,” Chu told reporters after the briefing.
“I think they’re still proceeding with the 232, but I think they know that negotiation would be a better way, though,” she added.