Trade Cases

Trump Said to Favor 24% Global Tariffs

Written by Sandy Williams


President Trump is favoring a 24 percent global tariff on steel imports, according to sources reported by multiple media outlets. Trump’s pick for Section 232 aluminum trade restrictions is a 10 percent tariff on all aluminum imports.

The rumors are contrary to analysts’ expectations of a more targeted tariff on imports. Broad-based tariffs are likely to be met with retaliation by global trading partners.

“As with every decision he makes, the security of the American people and the American economy will be the president’s primary concerns while he considers his potential options,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement. “President Trump is committed to achieving fair and reciprocal trade relationships that protect the American worker and grow our economy.”

Last week, the Pentagon issued a memo warning against broad measures that would impact key allies and favored a limited tariff on known abusers of trade. Economic adviser Gary Cohn and national security adviser H.R. McMaster are said to be against any action.

Although steel imports from China to the U.S. have dropped dramatically, the nation continues to be at the center of trade acrimony regarding steel overcapacity and alleged transshipment abuse. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is expected to meet with senior Chinese economic adviser Liu He next week in Washington to discuss trade disputes.

Latest in Trade Cases

Leibowitz: Could change at the ITC keep Weirton tin mill open?

The International Trade Commission (ITC) voted earlier this month against imposing antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of tin mill products from four countries. When Cliffs filed trade cases on tin mill products in early 2023, the company claimed that the failure to get massive duties on imports would result in the closure of its mill in Weirton, W.Va. We don’t know the reasoning behind this decision, only that all four sitting Commissioners voted not to impose duties. We do know that Cliffs plans to close Weirton.

Leibowitz on trade: Consumers win one at the ITC

Last week, steel consumers prevailed in a rare victory over US petitioners in trade cases on tin mill steel products. The US International Trade Commission (ITC) voted 4—0 that Cleveland-Cliffs, the sole remaining domestic producer of tin mill products (used to make containers such as “tin cans”) was neither injured nor threatened with injury by imports of competing products from Canada, China, and Germany. Imports from South Korea were found to be “negligible,” and the investigation on Korean imports was terminated.