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Report to Congress on National Security Issues with Proposed U.S. Aluminum, Steel Tariffs

The following is the March 12, 2018 Congressional Research Service Legal Sidebar: Threats to National Security Foiled? A Wrap Up of New Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum.

From the Report:

In accordance with two presidential proclamations issued on March 8, 2018, new tariffs will be imposed on imports of certain steel and aluminum products beginning on March 23, 2018. As previously discussed in this post, the tariffs come after the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (“Commerce”) release of two reports that detail the results of its investigations, conducted pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, on the effects on national security of (1) steel imports (the “Steel Investigation”) and (2) aluminum imports (the “Aluminum Investigation”). In its reports, Commerce concluded that steel and aluminum are “being imported into the United States in such quantities or under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security,” thus triggering the President’s authority under the statute to determine what “action . . . must be taken to adjust the imports of the article and its derivatives” to address this threat. These tariffs also come about a month after the President, relying on a different statute, proclaimed a tariff-rate quota on imports of certain solar energy related products and large residential washers. Taken together, these new tariffs—all of which were imposed under the authority of two uncommonly used laws—may be indicative of the Trump Administration’s approach to addressing perceived unfair trade practices, one that relies on less familiar laws allowing for the imposition of trade measures in addition to the more commonly used antidumping and countervailing duty statutes.


via fas.org

  • Curtis Conway

    Unless something has changed very recently, the US could not support the construction of a nuclear containment vessel for a nuclear power plant whole using organic/indigenous steel production capability. That IS a National Defense issue. Letting that [National Defense required] capability go in the first place, borders on the use of other terms to describe that activity, and that maleficent activity started long before the last administration, demonstrating where the real focus by those in Wathington is, and it’s not the defense of this country, or the welfare of those whose skills that industry depends, and upon which our National Defense relies.

    • tiger

      This is pure politics. We are not putting Bethlehem Steel back to hot again.

      • Curtis Conway

        Guess Again!

        • El Kabong

          Wanna bet?

          Mexico, Canada and Australia aren’t being penalized by this.

          • Curtis Conway

            NOT entirely true. They won’t be penalized IF…
            Negotiations will transpire.

          • El Kabong

            Entirely true.

          • old guy

            IT’S ABOUT TIME that the treaty, which was a treat for Mexico and Canada, and a FARCE for the USA, got renegotiated. Go PREZ TRUMP.

          • Ctrot

            Mexico/Canada domestic steel production won’t be penalized but if those countries continue to be a conduit for Chinese steel into the US, that’s a different story.

          • Secundius

            Unless “That’s” the very reason that both Canada and Mexico were Taken Off the “Steel/Aluminum” Ban List. To be a Surrogate Conduit of Chinese produced Steel and Aluminum…

          • old guy

            You nailed it. That is, precisely, what is happening.

          • El Kabong

            Swing and a miss!

            According to what sources?

          • Curtis Conway

            Exactly. The low labor rate in other countries combined with cheap steel dumped onto the market by China, has made for some really inexpensive products that flood into the country, and destroyed American Industry. Some of those industries (like steel & aluminium) are required for our National Defense. That is what the president has focused on. Everyone else (Globalist) involved in this equation before, just invested overseas and supported the change. The American economy has suffered, and the Trumpster is turning this around. Stand by for heavy rolls in the economy.

          • Curtis Conway

            THAT happens to be a huge part of the problem, and that is where the focus is at present with lots of light on the subject.

      • Secundius

        The USCG Offshore Patrol Cutter being produced by Easter Shipbuilders is being supplied by Bethlehem Steel…

    • James Bowen

      You have some good points. History texts are full of statements about how the Union defeated the Confederacy and the Allies defeated the Axis because of overwhelming industrial superiority. Yet, for some strange reason, to the free trade dogmatists (who are often the first to boast about U.S. military power) this is strangely no longer an issue when the fact that China has five times the steel output that we do is brought up.

      • Curtis Conway

        AND you didn’t even deal with quality, jobs, and economic impact on the communities involved. Metallurgy and its impact on modern steel are not insignificant in this age, and has come a long way. With the current tax policy where upgrades and modernization can be 100% deducted, the US Steel Industry should move rapidly. Perhaps the Japanese and South Koreans are willing to move some steel recycling plants and smelting operations, furnaces and industrial forging machinery here, and feed their auto plants that already preceded them. If the infrastructure is to be rebuilt, then we need girders, railroad rails, and building materials. Yes, this sector should wake up and move out in the short term. Let’s make ThyssenKrupp look like a piker. The first state to step up with matching funds is really going to get some great jobs. These plants will need good highway access and ready rail service. Being near a navigable river would also help.

        Most of Texas is still an Attainment Area, and I bet Gov Abbott would be willing to talk to some serious industrialist.

        • Secundius

          The “Last New Steel” innovation in the United States was in 1970! But what Really Cost the United States in Steel Production, was the Energy Crisis in 1973. By 19 September 1977, it was Easier and Cheaper to buy Steel abroad from Japan and South Korea…

          • Curtis Conway

            A new Steel Plant would be really something today. Gotta to have a target market and kind of steel before you build your plant. Versatility between various steel products would be good too.

            Even as we go into space, not everything will be synthetic. Steel will still be required in some constructs. In some cases making the material on site just before use may be required. Energy source will be the issue then. Getting the raw materials there will be the heavy lift.

          • Secundius

            “Sintering” will probably be a “Booming Business” in Space, on the Moon and Mars, where Metals are Bountiful and Cheap. There are ~8,000 to 15,000 pieces of Junk floating around in LEO and Geo Orbit that can be Scrapped, Shredded, Powdered and Sintered into Larger Structures. All that’s required is the means of sending the Infrastructure into Space to do the job.

            Singapore has invested Heavily into “Sintering”, that there willing to Protect there Primary Source of “Iron Sand” (i.e. New Zealand) with a Squadron of F-15SG’s billeted in New Zealand and a Squadron of E-2C AEW&C’s…

  • James Bowen

    These tariffs, so long as Canada and Mexico are excluded from them, are a step in the right direction, but just a step. What we really need is for our government to adopt a more proactive industrial policy that promotes the health of defense-relevant industries such as steel and aluminum, as opposed to the international market deference that has strongly characterized U.S. government economic policy for the last 25 years plus.

    An appropriate time to act would have been the late 1970s and early 1980s when the U.S. steel industry, after struggling for several years, crashed. It has never fully recovered from that period, and the failure of the U.S. public sphere to promote the health of the steel industry then means we have a harder task at hand now. It is hard to believe that the U.S. Government let such a strategically vital industry collapse only to later save a parasitic financial industry in 2008-2009.

  • Ctrot

    You first.

  • Ctrot

    @USNI News. Why the targeted censorship?

  • El Kabong

    Yet I just re-posted it for you….