President Donald Trump made a huge move against China and other exporters of cheap steel into the U.S. market on Thursday when he launched a federal investigation into whether foreign-made steel threatens U.S. steelmakers and national security.
Raw Story reported that Trump just signed a memorandum ordering the U.S. Commerce Department to probe the impact of steel imports on the U.S. defense industrial base. He did this by a rarely-used trade law that raises the possibility of new tariffs in a move that was applauded by U.S. companies that are constantly fighting with foreign competitors.
“Steel is critical to both our economy and our military. This is not an area where we can afford to become dependent on foreign countries,” Trump said as he signed the memorandum while he was surrounded by U.S. steel executives.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross explained that the decision to launch the investigation was a response to Chinese exports of steel into the United States reaching the point where they now account for 26 percent of the U.S. market. He explained that Chinese exports have risen “despite repeated Chinese claims that they were going to reduce their steel capacity.”
“The artificially low prices caused by excess capacity and unfairly traded imports suppress profits in the American steel industry,” The Trump administration said in a statement.
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