"It is absolutely clear from today's release of the Section 232 Aluminum and Steel Reports that Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has a comprehensive understanding of the unrelenting attacks and challenges that these industries critical to our nation's security are facing from unfairly traded imports".
The reviews were presented to Trump last month after complaints by US producers that foreign dumping of the two metals was shutting them out of business. The probes were authorized in April previous year under a 1962 trade law that has not been invoked since 2001.
We call on President Trump to act swiftly and boldly to save the American aluminum industry.
Among the recommendations in the reports are a global tariff of 24% on all steel imports.
Trump said he was "considering all options", including tariffs and quotas, after he accused China of decimating the American steel and aluminium industries.
Ross said he anticipates countries might fight back: "It wouldn't surprise us if there were (retaliation)".
Ross was asked whether the 232 remedies could pose a risk to downstream workers, such as those in the automotive industry, if those plants moved out of the USA in reaction to the possible restrictions on aluminum and steel.
Ross said there was no timeline for how long the measures might remain in place, if implemented.
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Any action to limit imports is likely to end up raising the price of steel, which could destabilize USA industries from automakers to food packagers.
"The DOC reports provide a comprehensive listing of the countries - Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam - that have relentlessly violated trade laws". Ross also suggested a 23.5% tariff on aluminum products from China, Hong Kong, Russia, Venezuela and Vietnam. He proposed a final alternative that involved no tariffs, but a quota on all steel products from all countries equal to 63 percent of their exports to the United States in 2017.
Alcoa Corp. reversed an earlier decline on the news, rising as much as 4 percent, and steel stocks rallied as well.
The 10-month investigation determined that the quantities and circumstance of steel and aluminum imports "threaten to impair the national security".
Trump could choose any of those options or a combination.
"Utilizing a blanket tariff is too broad, in our view", they said.
The problem with antidumping and countervailing cases, Ross said, is they are "required to be quite precise as to product and company" and "serial offenders can avoid them by transshipping through other countries without processing or by shipping the end product".
Trump met with a bipartisan group of US senators and representatives at the White House last week, signaling he would take at least some action to restrict imports of the two metals.
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