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DOC recommends Section 232 steel tariffs

DOC recommends Section 232 steel tariffs

The U.S. Commerce Department has recommended that President Donald Trump impose steep curbs on steel and aluminum imports from China and other countries ranging from global and country-specific tariffs to broad import quotas, according to proposals released on Friday.

"T$3 he Secretary of Commerce concludes that the present quantities and circumstance of steel imports are "weakening our internal economy" and threaten to impair the national security as defined in Section 232", the department said.

An increase in tariffs could impact consumer prices of everything from beer cans to cars. China was noted as the "largest source of excess steel capacity", which in itself exceeds the total US steel-making capacity.

Stocks of Ford Industries Inc. and General Motors Co. dropped after the news on February 16. Last month he ordered tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels.

On Friday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross reported that steel is in fact important to US national security, and current import flows are adversely impacting the steel industry.

- Tariffs of at least 53% on imports from 12 countries: Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Malaysia, South Korea, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

"What we're talking about is tariffs and or quotas", Trump told the group.

One Clinton administration trade adviser told Bloomberg a year ago the 1962 law is like a "sledgehammer" on trade. Aluminum on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 2.4%.

Last year, the president ordered an investigation into whether aluminum and steel imports posed a threat to national defense. China, as the largest steel-producing country, is the largest source of excess steel capacity.

But some big steel-consuming manufacturers saw their share prices decline. "That could open the door for a global trade war".

Under these recommendations, tariffs on aluminum imports from China, Russia, Venezuela, and Vietnam specifically will climb to 23.5 percent.

Trump is facing resistance to tariffs from lawmakers in his own party.

Trump met a bipartisan group of United States senators and representatives at the White House last week, signalling he would take at least some action to restrict imports of the two metals. Additionally, no country will be able to export more than of 86.7 percent of the amount of aluminum they sold to the U.S.in 2017, Axios says.

"Part of the options would be tariffs coming in". The president could also consider the countries' willingness to work with the United States to address global excess capacity and other challenges facing the US aluminum and steel industries. Some companies in the steel industry, as well as unions such as United Steelworkers, have been pushing the president to come down hard on imports.

But in a joint statement the National Tooling and Machining Association and Precision Metalforming Association said steep tariffs would "devastate" downstream US steel consuming manufacturers, which employ 6.5 million Americans.

It's threatening to clobber worldwide steel and aluminum imports with tariffs.

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