Economy

United States eyes heavy tariffs on China, Russia to counter steel, aluminium glut

United States eyes heavy tariffs on China, Russia to counter steel, aluminium glut

The US Commerce Department has recommended imposing tariffs on China, Russia and other countries to counter a global glut in steel and aluminium which it says threatens national security.

Aluminum prices rose in London, climbing 2% to $2,208 a metric ton, following a report before the U.S. Commerce Department's official statement.

The targeted quota would include a quota by product on steel imports from other countries that would be equal to 100 percent of their 2017 exports to the US, according to the report.

The report from the Commerce Department includes the 24 percent tariff on all steel imports as one of three options for President Trump.

A third option called for Trump to impose global quotas based on 63 percent of each country's 2017 steel exports and based on 87 percent of their aluminum exports to the United States.

The US president "is required to make a decision on the steel recommendations by April 11, 2018, and on the aluminum recommendations by April 19, 2018", the department said.

In a 262-page document, Ross recommended a couple alternatives for the president to take "immediate action by adjusting the level of imports through quotas or tariffs".

Axios reported Friday that these recommendations would set a minimum 7.7 percent tariff on all aluminum imports and a 24 percent tariff on all steel imports. "It'll make a decision, and I will make a decision that reflects the best interests of the U.S., including the need to address overproduction in China and other countries".

More news: Special Counsel Charges 13 Russian Nationals Over Interference With US Election

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross takes a question as he speaks to the media about a new tariff on Canadian lumber during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

The report highlights a number of options for President Trump, who could also decide to not take any action.

Other countries would be subject to a quota limiting their tariff-free access to their 2017 steel exports to the United States.

It's far too early to know how the Trump administration's proposed tariffs would shake out in the long run.

A quota on all steel imports that allows foreign countries to only export 63% of the amount of steel they sent to the U.S. in 2017.

According to the Aluminum Association, there are five US smelting facilities that are operating with three partial curtailments.

"Now is the time for Presidential action to prevent excess steel capacity and surging steel imports from undermining our national security and the viability of the USA steel industry", the companies stated.


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