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Steel News January 12, 2018 09:30:14 AM

Conservative Group Opposes Section 232 Investigation

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The National Taxpayers Union, in a Dec. 12 letter, warned Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross against continuing with an investigation that could lead to new restrictions on the steel trade.
Conservative Group Opposes Section 232 Investigation

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster):The Commerce Department should halt its Section 232 investigation of the impact of steel imports on national security, a conservative advocacy group says.

President Donald Trump on April 20 issued a presidential memorandum directing the secretary of commerce to conduct a Section 232 investigation “to determine the effects on national security of steel imports.” While it had been thought that the investigation would be completed by June, no report has been released yet. The Trump administration indicated in late 2017 that it would return to the issue after Congress passed tax reform legislation, which it did in December.

The National Taxpayers Union, in a Dec. 12 letter, warned Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross against continuing with an investigation that could lead to new restrictions on the steel trade.

“Activating Section 232 under the guise of national security would be a misuse of policy intended for genuine emergencies, break longstanding precedent, and adversely impact global alliances that we rely on to keep Americans safe from foreign threats,” the group wrote. It added, “Restricting commerce through tariffs would increase costs for existing manufacturers who rely on lower-priced steel and aluminum imports. Any change in the delicate supply chain will increase the final cost of production, which would, in turn, raise costs for consumers.”

The organization also noted that defense accounts for only about 3 percent of the United States’ steel demand and that the “vast majority” of steel imports come from allies. In addition, it cautioned that, “Restricting imports of steel or aluminum via Section 232 would only encourage America’s trading partners to use similar tactics to block the exports of U.S. goods, open the door to trade battles, and discourage imports of needed goods.”

AIIS has frequently raised these and other points during the past nine months as it has worked aggressively to educate regulators, lawmakers, the press and the public about the negative consequences that could result from imposing new limits on the free and fair trade of steel.

Courtesy: AIIS