Trump plans executive order on steel imports

Cornelia Mascio
Aprile 20, 2017

President Trump on Thursday will sign a directive calling for an investigation into whether foreign-made steel imports are harming national security, Reuters reported late Wednesday. The memo will fall under the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, a section of which permits a United States president to restrict trade if he determines it is harmful to U.S. security. The law allows the president to impose restrictions on imports for reasons of national security.

The United States imported about 30 million metric tons of steel in 2016, down from 35 million in 2015, for use in a variety of sectors including buildings, bridges, water and sewage plants and oil and natural gas production.

A number of steel industry executives have been invited to the White House for an event with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order as early as Thursday directing the Commerce Department to investigate whether steel imports into the USA should be blocked on national security grounds, according to sources familiar with the plan. It comes as he tries to coax China into taking a more active role in reining in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

The move is another step in Trump's "America First" policies in which he has tried to boost US manufacturers and preserve American jobs.

The first official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the directive is not aimed at a specific country but is "product oriented".

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