Thursday, March 08, 2018

Trump Formally Orders Tariffs On Steel, Aluminum Imports - NPR

President Trump ordered steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from every country except Canada and Mexico. It's the boldest move to date for the president who campaigned on a protectionist platform that is sharply at odds with Republicans' free trade orthodoxy.

Trump signed the orders Thursday afternoon during a White House event featuring steel and aluminum workers in blue jeans and holding hard hats.

"A strong steel and aluminum industry are vital to our national security, absolutely vital," Trump said. "Steel is steel. You don't have steel, you don't have a country."

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., issued a statement disagreeing with the administration's approach, arguing instead for "targeted enforcement" against bad trade practices by countries like China.

"I disagree with this action and fear its unintended consequences. I am pleased that the president has listened to those who share my concerns and included an exemption for some American allies, but it should go further," Ryan said. "We will continue to urge the administration to narrow this policy so that it is focused only on those countries and practices that violate trade law."

The president ordered a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent levy on imported aluminum to take effect in 15 days. Although Trump initially wanted to apply the tariffs worldwide, carve-outs were added for Canada and Mexico for the time being. Aides say exceptions could be made for other U.S. allies.

Canada is the leading supplier of imported steel and aluminum to the U.S., accounting for 16 percent of imported steel and 41 percent of imported aluminum, as CNBC has reported.

Trump said the order would show "great flexibility and cooperation toward those that are real friends." - More

Trump Formally Orders Tariffs On Steel, Aluminum Imports


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