The Commerce Department is currently investigating the impact that steel and aluminum imports have on national security, and its findings on steel imports are expected very soon -- possibly in the next few days. The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) thinks a comprehensive finding is warranted, and in a post on Medium, AAM President Scott Paul points out President Trump made this defense of U.S. industry a campaign promise. Read an excerpt below:
In April, Trump announced Section 232 investigations into steel and aluminum imports, which could soon culminate in some stringent trade enforcement actions by his administration. The administration’s self-imposed deadline for a recommendation on steel imports is June 30.
If President Trump is a man of his word, those 232 actions will be robust.
Most of us don’t spend much time in the weeds of U.S. trade policy, so here’s the gist of a Section 232 investigation: Under this 1962 trade law, the president can order an inquiry into whether specific imports are negatively impacting U.S. economic and national security. If they’re determined to be damaging, the president can order significant safeguarding measures.
This is what President Trump asked for when he ordered the Commerce Department to look at imports of steel and aluminum, suspecting that the deluge of questionably traded imports of those commodities from countries like China was intentionally running American factories out of business — and consequentially weakening our defense industrial base.
The critics are out in full force against a 232 action. The editorial board at the Wall Street Journal has labeled it “government favoritism.”
“Idiotic,” declared an in-house Washington Post critic.
But few if any have worked in a steel mill or an aluminum smelter, and they certainly don’t appreciate the roles these industries play in our national security.