The Trump administration directed the Commerce Department on Thursday to expedite an investigation into whether the way other countries sell steel compromises U.S. national security.
In a briefing Thursday morning, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the review would consider how much steel the U.S. needs to defend itself, and whether current domestic capacity meets those requirements. Steel imports now make up more than 26% of the U.S. marketplace, and the report will examine to what extent those imports impinge on U.S. economic and national defense security, Ross said.
That investigation officially began Wednesday night, and Trump signed the memorandum to expedite the investigation at a ceremony Thursday.
The investigation could result in a recommendation that the United States impose broad tariffs on the steel industry, Ross said. “The important question is protecting our defense needs. And we will do whatever is necessary to do that, but we’ve come to no conclusion yet because the study is just recently begun.”
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