New Developments in Steel Tariffs

The following report from Politico on July 28, 2017, includes information about the latest developments in steel tariffs:

STEEL TARIFF THREAT COOLS DOWN: President Donald Trump’s plans to hit steel and aluminum imports with tariffs and/or quotas will be put on ice for a while longer, according to House lawmakers briefed Thursday afternoon by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Ross, speaking to members of the House Ways and Means Committee, “said that the current forums that we have — the WTO and the global steel forum — have not been adequate in addressing this over-dumping issue, and that he is hoping for some way to negotiate in a dialogue with these countries to resolve the problem,” said Rep. Judy Chu, a California Democrat.

Ross had initially been expected to deliver reports investigating the national security threats posed by steel and aluminum imports to the White House by the end of last month. But Trump, who will ultimately decide on how to proceed and has previously promised a crackdown on steel dumping, told The Wall Street Journal earlier this week that "we don't want to do it at this moment." The president added that the administration would most likely take action "fairly soon."

Ross read the president's recent statements out loud during the briefing and said that those are the orders he is following, Rep. Sander Levin, a Michigan Democrat who was previously ranking member of Ways and Means, told reporters afterward.

"I think the secretary, given his druthers, is up to being part of a negotiating team with other countries," said Rep. Bill Pascrell, the top Democrat on W&M’s Trade Subcommittee.