Steel Products

No Mention of Steel in Trump's State of the Union

Written by Tim Triplett

For those who were hoping President Trump’s State of the Union address last night might provide some clarity on U.S. trade policy, perhaps even a brief mention of NAFTA or Section 232, his remarks were a disappointment. The only time he mentioned “steel” was in describing “the steel in America’s spine” in overcoming the challenges of the past year.

Only two short comments—one on trade deals and another on infrastructure—had any direct relevance to the steel industry, and they are comments we’ve heard from the administration before.

Trump on trade: “America has finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals that have sacrificed our prosperity and chipped away at our companies, our jobs and our wealth. Our nation has lost its wealth, but we are getting it back so fast. The era of economic surrender is totally over. From now on we expect trading relationships to be fair and, very importantly, reciprocal. We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones—and they will be good ones. We will protect American workers and American intellectual property through strong enforcement of our trade rules.”

Trump on infrastructure: “As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. America is a nation of builders. We built the Empire State Building in just one year. Isn’t it a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a minor permit approved for the building of a simple road. I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast and reliable infrastructure that our economy needs, and our people deserve. I am calling on Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion dollars for the new infrastructure investment. Every federal dollar can be leveraged by partnering with state and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.”

Based on the president’s inspiring remarks, the State of the Union is great. The State of Steel Trade remains uncertain.

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