President Trump Should Reject Proposed Taxes on Imported Steel and Aluminum

Today, The U.S. Department of Commerce proposed new taxes on steel and aluminum that, if approved by President Trump, would impose new costs on U.S. defense suppliers and manufacturers of goods ranging from pickup trucks to homes.

The proposal was released under Section 232 of U.S. trade law, which allows the President to restrict imports that have been determined to impair our national security. However, the definition of “national security” used in this report is highly dubious.

According to the Commerce Department, “the Secretary in this investigation determined that ‘national security’ for purposes of Section 232 includes the ‘general security and welfare of certain industries, beyond those necessary to satisfy national defense requirements.’”

According to Bryan Riley, Director of NTU’s Free Trade Initiative, “If adopted, these measures would increase the cost of supplying U.S. troops. They would make it more difficult for American manufacturers to compete with their rivals in China and elsewhere. They would increase costs for U.S. consumers of pickup trucks, appliances, and other products containing steel or aluminum. President Trump should reject the Commerce recommendations.”