NATIONAL SECURITY/TRADE DEALS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump will direct his administration Thursday [4-20-17] to investigate whether imports of foreign steel are harming US national security, according to a White House official.
Trump plans to sign a memo ordering the probe during a noon ceremony surrounded by representatives of the US steel industry. The memo will fall under the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, a section of which permits a US president to restrict trade if he determines it is harmful to US security.
The order will require his Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to conduct the administration-wide review within 270 days, after which Trump will decide on curbing the import of foreign steel.
Trump has railed against China for its excess steel production, but it’s unclear whether any potential restrictions on steel imports will fall solely on China following the administration review.
The US imports steel from over 90 countries, according to the International Trade Administration. Top providers include Canada, Mexico, Russia, Brazil, Turkey and Germany.
The US has maintained a longstanding trade deficit in steel products, though the ITA says the US steel trade deficit narrowed in 2016.”
-Kevin Liptak, “Trump to explore national security implications of steel imports,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, April 20, 2017 9:06am