President Donald Trump’s administration will as soon as this week release results of its investigation into the impact of steel imports on U.S. national security, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross “should have a further update on the 232 review later this week,” Spicer told reporters on Monday, referring to a seldom-used section of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act. “When that comes out, there are certain recommendations that will be made to Congress to address anti-dumping provisions in the steel and aluminum and other markets.”
If the department finds evidence of a national-security threat from foreign steel shipments, the president is authorized to unilaterally “adjust imports,” which could include limiting or restricting them.
Trump said last week his administration would take measures “very soon” to stop foreign firms from selling steel in the U.S. at artificially low prices.
“Wait’ll you see what I’m going to do for steel and for your steel companies,” Trump said last week in Cincinnati. “We’re going to stop the dumping and stop all of these wonderful other countries from coming in and killing our companies and our workers.”
When the section 232 probe was launched in April, Ross argued that China had failed to deliver on promises to reduce excess steel capacity, a situation that he said was hurting the U.S. steel industry. China has noted that its shipments to the U.S. are low-end steel products that local producers aren’t willing to make and that it accounts for a small volume of total U.S. imports.
The Commerce Department is conducting a separate section 232 investigation into aluminum imports and it will holding a public hearing as part of that review on June 22.