Chinese steel exports to U.S. causing national security issues?





U.S. President is launching an investigation about whether the steel imports from foreign countries affects U.S. national interests.

“Steel is critical to both our economy and our military. This is not an area where we can afford to become dependent on foreign countries.”

Firstly, China is the largest national producer. It makes far more steel than it consumes. Secondly, it is exporting the excess output overseas. ” This often leads undercutting domestic producers.”

Trump is pressuring China to do more to rein in an increasingly belligerent North Korea. Which is the unusual step of setting to steel investigation. Two presidents discussed this subjects earlier in Florida. Trump said that he would consider possibility of using trade as a lever to coax China to do more.


Opinions on matter


“Everything they export is dumping.” (Derek Scissors, Asian economist.)


Following, Chinese exports have risen. “Despite repeated Chinese claims that they were going to reduce their steel capacity.” said Ross. Ross was labeled “Mr. Protectionism” for his history of owning businesses protected from foreign competition. “If the Commerce inquiry finds the U.S. steel industry is suffering from too much steel imports, I will recommend retaliatory steps.” That could also include tariffs.


Trump ordered a probe under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. This lets the president impose restrictions on imports for reasons of national security.


In October 2001, a Commerce Department investigation found “non probative evidence.” Saying that imports of iron ore and semi-finished steel threaten to impair U.S. national security.

The amounts of steel imported, even though big, cannot represent

the national security problem. It is simply called trading” said an analyst.

Steel shares had raised after Trump won the November election amid promises for increased infrastructure spending.

On Thursday shares of steel makers closed between 4 and 8.5 % higher. Steel Dynamics Inc (STLD.O), AK Steel Holding Corp (AKS.N), Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (CLF.N), Allegheny Technologies Inc (ATI.N) and other.


Steel Profits in US


The United States has nearly 100 plants that make millions of tons of steel annually. Government tried to protect them with WTO regulations. Then came Trump and said this has to be put on another level.

“The artificially low prices caused by excess capacity and unfairly traded imports suppress profits in the American steel industry.”

Also, Nucor Chairman John Ferriola said that the steelmakers welcomed the president’s move.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the president and Secretary Ross. To ensure our trade laws are enforced so that U.S. manufacturers can compete on a level-playing field.”

“There is no doubt that steel plays a role in our national security and the manufacturing of U.S. weapons systems.” (Jeff Bialos, who has worked on steel trade cases in the past.)


“But the Department of Defense only consumes a small portion of domestic steel output. And this has decreased over the past decade as composites technology has advanced,” Bialos said.


Scissors said the United States has other ways to take on China over steel trade issues, other than invoking national security.


“Talking about it as a national security issue – I don’t think it’s necessary and I don’t think it’s justified,” he said.


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