Trump may levy quotas, tariffs on steel imports

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President Trump said he is considering slapping tariffs and quotas on steel imports, a move that could irritate trade tensions with some allies. 

Trump said China and other nations are responsible for selling cheap steel imports here, turning the United States into “a dumping ground.”

“They’re dumping steel and destroying our steel industry. They’ve been doing it for decades, and I’m stopping it. It’ll stop,” the president told reporters during a Wednesday flight to Paris on Air Force One.

“There are two ways — quotas and tariffs. Maybe I’ll do both,” he said.

{mosads}The Commerce Department is investigating whether tariffs should be slapped on countries that import steel for national security reasons. A report was expected last month but has been delayed while the Pentagon evaluates the effects of the policy. 

If implemented, the steel tariffs would come under Section 232 of a 1962 trade law that provides the president with the power to levy tariffs on imported steel over national security concerns.

On Wednesday, a group of prominent economists said tariffs would be a big mistake that would hurt the U.S. economy and damage diplomatic relations with several top allies.

While U.S. steel imports come from more than 110 countries and territories, much is sold to the United States by important allies such as Canada, Brazil, South Korea and Mexico, the economists said.

“The diplomatic costs might be worth it if the tariffs generated economic benefits,” the economists wrote in a letter to Trump. 

“But they would not. Additional steel tariffs would actually damage the U.S. economy. Tariffs would raise costs for manufacturers, reduce employment in manufacturing and increase prices for consumers.”

Tags Dumping International trade Trade policy United States steel tariff

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