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Daily Trends Now


Trump considers global steel tariffs, potentially hitting Canada

Trump considers global steel tariffs, potentially hitting Canada

Shares in U.S. aluminum and steel companies from Alcoa (AA) to Nucor (NUE) surged, at least briefly, after the U.S. Commerce Department recommended that President Donald Trump impose a range of restrictions on imports from tariffs to quotas.

"We look forward to working with the president on a final decision that helps support continued growth in the USA aluminum industry", said Heidi Brock, President & CEO of the Aluminum Association. The tariffs and quotas would vary from country to country, with the highest ones going to aluminum from China and Russian Federation, among other countries, and the highest steel tariffs on imports from countries including Brazil, China and Russian Federation.

Trump has wide-ranging powers under Section 232 of the 1962 trade act to consider the domestic production needs and viability of the aluminum and steel industries, as well as infrastructure capability, in evaluating national security requirements, and "not just a narrow definition of defense", Ross said on the call to explain why he found that imports "threaten our national security".

A tariff of at least 53% on 12 countries' imports, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

The President is required to make a decision on the steel recommendations by April 11, 2018, and on the aluminum recommendations by April 19, 2018.

The goal of these tariffs would be to increase domestic production of steel and grow the United States steel workforce.




Some steel stocks were stronger in morning trade.

The reports are now under consideration by the President, and no final decisions have been made with regard to their contents.

Aluminum stocks also bounced, led by an 8% jump for Century Aluminum. Although Trump campaigned on a protectionist platform, he has taken only modest action so far to restrict imports. U.S. Steel up 2 percent, and AK Steel up 1.1 percent. Aluminum is critical to the well-being of America's beer industry as more than half of the beer produced annually is packed in aluminum cans or aluminum bottles. "Other countries will retaliate, killing the very exports and American jobs this administration seeks to promote".

The reports recommend that Ross be allowed to grant requests from US companies to exclude specific products if the USA lacks sufficient domestic capacity or for national security considerations.

According to the Aluminum Association, there are five USA smelting facilities that are operating with three partial curtailments.

The department notes that employment in the aluminum industry fell by 58 percent between 2013 and 2016, while employment in the steel industry dropped 35 percent in the last 20 years. For example, there is only one remaining USA producer of the high-quality aluminum alloy needed for military aerospace.

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