US steel and aluminium imports face big tariffs, Trump says

US steel and aluminium imports face big tariffs, Trump says
From BBC - March 1, 2018

President Donald Trump has said he will sign off on steep tariffs on steel and aluminium imports next week, hitting producers like Canada and China.

Flanked by US metals executives at the White House, he said a 25% tariff would be slapped on steel products, and a 10% tariff would be imposed on aluminium.

Mr Trump tweeted that the US was suffering from "unfair trade".

The US imports four times more steel than it exports, and is reliant on steel from more than 100 nations.

The value of shares in American steel manufacturers jumped significantly after the announcement.

The news is likely to provoke an angry reaction from China, and analysts have expressed fears of the prospect of new trade wars.

Why now?

During his presidential campaign, Mr Trump said that foreign countries were "dumping vast amounts of steel all over the United States, which essentially is killing our steelworkers and steel companies".

And since taking office, Mr Trump said cheap imports from China were harming the viability of industry in the US, which is the world's biggest importer of steel.

China is not the only country to export the material to the US - 110 countries and territories do so. And China is only the 11th biggest exporter to the US - Canada, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico and Russia are the five biggest.

Last year, the president ordered an investigation by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross into "whether steel imports threaten to impair the national security", drawing a link between economic prosperity and the country's security.

Mr Ross' report was published last month - it recommended the president impose tariffs.

What did Trump have to say?

In Thursday's announcement, Mr Trump promised to rebuild the American steel and aluminium industries, which he said had suffered "disgraceful" treatment from other countries for decades.

"And when it comes to a time when our country ca not make aluminium and steel - and somebody said it before and I will tell you - you almost do not have much of a country, because without steel and aluminium your country is not the same.

"We need great steel makers, great aluminium makers for defence."

Trade war in the White House

What's the state of the US steel industry?


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