Trump considering widespread tariffs on global steel imports, including Canada

Trump considering widespread tariffs on global steel imports, including Canada

The US Commerce Department said Friday it recommended imposing tariffs on China, Russia and other countries to counter a global glut in steel and aluminium which it says threatens national security. The tariffs and quotas would vary from country to country, with the highest ones going to aluminum from China and Russian Federation, among other countries, and the highest steel tariffs on imports from countries including Brazil, China and Russian Federation. Trump has the latitude to choose between these types of options or even enter talks with producers to find solutions.

The aluminum recommendations include a 7.7% tariff on imports from all exporter nations. Among steelmakers, Nucor, the largest American producer, climbed nearly 6 percent, the biggest intraday increase since November 2016.

Steel stocks soared on the recommendations, with U.S. Steel (X.N) up 9.7 percent, AK Steel (AKS.N) up 9.9 percent and the broader S&P 1500 steel index.SPCOMSTEEL up 4 percent.

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The statement came in a report released Friday morning by the Commerce Department, the result of twin investigations initiated last April to determine whether steel and aluminum imports were threatening national security. The investigation took place under the seldom-used Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

Trump has until around April 11 to decide whether to impose steel import curbs and April 20 to decide on aluminum restrictions. The alert by the European Commission also followed Trump's decision earlier in January to impose tariffs on USA imports of solar panels and washing machines on the basis of rarely used "safeguard" rules.

The United States has fired a warning shot in what could become a global trade war.

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These actions follow, and are in addition to, numerous antidumping and countervailing duty actions successfully brought by US domestic manufactures of steel and aluminum products covering almost every type of steel product, and many types of aluminum products, exported from specific foreign countries. He proposed a final alternative that involved no tariffs, but a quota on all steel products from all countries equal to 63 percent of their exports to the United States in 2017.

But it would lead to certain criticism that Trump risks putting the USA economy's growth at risk.

Even GOP lawmakers in the meeting with Trump cautioned the president against tariffs on steel. All of these measures aim to increase USA steel manufacturing capacity, according to the Commerce Department.

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Speculation about possible US action has roiled the metals industry. Exports from the European Union to the US increased to 375 billion euros in 2017 from 363.5 billion euros the year prior, while imports from the USA grew to 254.2 billion euros from 250.4 billion euros.

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