Uncertainty Remains Following White House Meeting with Congressional Lawmakers on Trade

The following is a statement from Bryan Riley, director of the National Taxpayers Union’s Free Trade Initiative:

"I am hopeful that today’s meeting with lawmakers regarding the national security implications of steel and aluminum imports will further encourage the Trump administration to prioritize and uphold the principles of free trade that have made us one of the world’s most prosperous and secure countries.”

Imports of steel and aluminum benefit U.S. carmakers, appliance manufacturers, and construction and infrastructure firms, among others. These imports also support energy exploration and delivery.

Steel imports have surged in recent months as U.S. businesses have attempted to secure supplies in anticipation of possible import restrictions.

Section 232 investigations are supposed to address “the effects of imports of any articles on U.S. national security.” The Commerce Department submitted the results of its investigations to President Trump earlier this year, but those results were not made available to the public.

According to Riley, “New taxes and regulations restricting the supply of steel and aluminum would weaken U.S. manufacturers. President Trump rightfully took credit for cutting taxes and regulations in his recent State of the Union Address. New limits on steel and aluminum imports would represent a costly reversal from this policy.

Trade sanctions are typically a tool we levy on hostile foreign governments. Putting a self-sanction on steel and aluminum imports would make America less secure, not more.”