March 8–Amid threats of countervailing trade measures from Europe, Asia and South America, U.S. President Donald Trump signed two proclamations this afternoon to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum starting March 23.

The proclamations include waivers to exempt Canada and Mexico from the tariff, provided they do not provide transport of other countries’ steel and aluminum products to the United States. They also allow U.S. consumers to apply for exclusions for specific types of steel and aluminum imports that the domestic market does not provide.

Surrounded by U.S. workers, Trump said “aggressive foreign trade practices” act as an “assault”  on the U.S. economy, displacing producers and workers.

“Our industries have been targeted for years and years, decades in fact, by unfair foreign trade practices leading to shuttered plants and mills, the layoffs of millions of workers, and the decimation of entire communities. And it’s going to stop,” Trump said. “The actions we are taking today are not a matter of choice. They are a matter of necessity.”

U.S. President Trump signs proclamation imposing a 25 percent tariff on steel. March 8. White House.

The news follows a month investigation by the Commerce Department, which recommended tariffs in two separate reports issued in January.

Executive Action

The president used his authority under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to impose the tariffs out of a concern for national security without having to obtain the consent of Congress. The Commerce Department under the George W. Bush Administration broadly defined national security to include critical industries and infrastructure.

The steel tariff of 25 percent intends to protect domestic steel producers, enabling them to “use approximately 80 percent of existing domestic production capacity and thereby achieve long-term economic viability through increased production.”

The tariff on aluminum of 10 percent shields domestic producers from an excess global capacity. It includes language that allows the president to make adjustments to the tariff and exclude certain countries from it.

The Commerce Department is expected to publish procedures for importers and exporters seeking exclusions within 10 days.

For text of the steel proclamation, click here. For text of the aluminum proclamation, click here.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 Patti MohrFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
, , , ,

About Author

Patti Mohr is an independent journalist living in North Carolina. She has a Master's Degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University and a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and a certificate in journalism from the University of Cincinnati. After spending 12 years working in Washington, D.C., Patti moved to North Carolina where she consulted clients with their resumes and began working in property management. She continued to work on research and writing on an independent basis and conceptualized the structure for a media organization that would support independent journalism. Patti's lifelong dream is to pursue a career in writing about international relations. She has a strong belief in the fundamentals of journalism, namely the pursuit of truth, the maintenance of independence from sources, and in the verification of information. She is a reliable researcher with strong analytical and problem-solving skills.