Tariffs are an option to stop steel dumping, said President Donald Trump at a bipartisan meeting of legislators this morning.
“I want to keep prices down, but I want to make sure that we have a steel industry,” said Trump, according to a Bloomberg report.
“Part of the options would be tariffs coming in. As they dump steel, they pay tariffs, substantial tariffs, which means the United States would actually make a lot of money,” said Trump.
Fifteen Republicans and four Democrats met with the president, commerce secretary and U.S. trade representative to discuss possible actions on the import of steel and aluminum under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) cautioned against using Section 232: “Invoking national security, when I think it’s really hard to make that case, invites retaliation,” he told Trump.
Senator Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, added that only 3 percent of imported steel is used for national-security purposes. Trump countered that the amount will go up with defense budget increases.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross suggested a “much more surgical way” of applying Section 232 by imposing tariffs on imports from certain countries and quotas on those suspected of transshipment.
Note: Developing news to be updated in this evening’s edition of Steel Market Update
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