Published: Fri, February 16, 2018
Business | By Max Garcia

US Commerce Wants Aluminum Tariff-Quota on Imports

US Commerce Wants Aluminum Tariff-Quota on Imports

The alert by the European Commission also followed Trump's decision earlier in January to impose tariffs on US imports of solar panels and washing machines on the basis of rarely used "safeguard" rules. Russia, Vietnam, and China are also among this group, which will be subjected to a minimum 53 percent tariff on all steel imports.

The change comes amid heightened tensions between Europe and the USA over the possibility of a trade dispute, with Washington threatening to restrict American purchases of foreign steel and aluminum on national-security grounds.

Trump instructed the Commerce Department previous year to probe whether imports of steel and aluminum represent a threat to US national security.

The third option outlined in the report includes no tariffs, but would impose a quota on all steel products from all countries equal to 63 percent of each country's 2017 imports into the United States.

The long-awaited unveiling of Commerce's "Section 232" national security reviews of the two industries contained global tariff options of at least 24 percent on all steel products from all countries, and at least 7.7 percent on all aluminum products from all countries.

Other options would impose high tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminium imports.

"I am glad that we were able to provide this analysis and these recommendations to the President", Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.

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

Investors have been closely watching for potential protective measures for the industry since Trump's November 2016 election win, with stocks often rising or falling along with prospects for such actions.

The goal of these tariffs would be to increase domestic production of steel and grow the United States steel workforce. Such a trade war could seriously damage the U.S. economy and contribute to inflation or an economic downturn.

Among the recommendations in the reports are a global tariff of 24% on all steel imports. The administration is now considering "all options, and part of the options would be tariffs", he told lawmakers at the meeting.

Democrats, on the other hand, applauded the annoucement by Commerce. Those measures, which could be announced in the following weeks, are aimed at saving USA steel and aluminum producers, who have struggled to compete with a flood of cheap metals from overseas, particularly from China.

Trump has talked a lot about trade and with this decision, NAFTA and others, we will soon find out of he's going to act.

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