REGIONAL— U.S. Sen. Tina Smith released the following statement on an announcement that the Department of Commerce will recommend heavy new tariffs on foreign steel imports.
“One of my first stops as Senator was in Eveleth, home to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, as well as many of the hardest-working men and women in the country,”said Sen. Smith. “When I was there, I talked with local steelworkers about the biggest challenges facing Northern Minnesota. They told me their jobs are at risk if we don’t continue to crack down on steel dumping from countries like China. Since then, I pressed the Commerce Department to finish an investigation into how these unfair foreign trade practices threaten our national security, and I’m pleased to say we’re getting results. While I look forward to reviewing the full report, based on initial reports, the Department’s recommendation to levy new tariffs on foreign steel looks like really good news, and I’ve already urged President Trump to take action on the recommendations as soon as possible. I will continue to engage with the President on this issue to press for action that is good for Minnesota.”
In April of last year, President Trump announced that he would be invoking Section 232 of a U.S. trade law to launch an investigation into the effects of foreign steel imports on national security. After repeated delays from the Commerce Department in issuing recommendations for action, Sen. Smith urged the Secretary of Commerce to finalize the Section 232 investigation and make recommendations to the President in order to keep our nation secure and support the U.S. iron and steel industry and its workers. Those recommendations were announced today, and they include:
• A global tariff of at least 24 percent on all steel imports from all countries, or
• A tariff of at least 53 percent on all steel imports from 12 countries (Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam) with a quota by product on steel imports from all other countries equal to 100 percent of their 2017 exports to the United States, or
• A quota on all steel products from all countries equal to 63 percent of each country’s 2017 exports to the United States.