Trump delays formal unveiling of steel tariffs

Even though a formal announcement on the imposition of steel tariffs has been delayed, battle lines were being drawn Thursday. 

Trump is reported to have told domestic steel executives and a White House pool of reporters that tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will be unveiled “next week.”

Tariff supporters say such a measure will protect U.S. steel-producing jobs as well as national security.

In a tweet Thursday morning, the president himself appeared to be laying the groundwork for some kind of announcement.

“Our Steel and Aluminum industries (and many others) have been decimated by decades of unfair trade and bad policy with countries from around the world,” the president tweeted  early Thursday. “We must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer. We want free, fair and SMART TRADE!”

American steel and aluminum executives were invited to the White House for a midday meeting. 

Some blamed White House discord on the issue for the week-long delay.

More than a month ago the U.S. Commerce Department gave the president the results of an investigation into steel and aluminum imports, giving him 90 days to respond. 

RELATED Senators press Trump to protect U.S. steel production

Trump has been weighing protective trade action under a rarely used ‘Section 232’ of the U.S. trade law, which allows for restrictions on imports to protect national security.

U.S. steel executives have been urging the president to take just such an action.

The head of the American Iron and Steel Institute, a lobbying group of steel companies, including Middletown’s AK Steel Corp., thanked Trump for his stance.

“We thank the president for meeting with our industry, and following through on his commitment to addressing the steel crisis. Foreign steel imports surged again in 2017 — up 15 percent from the previous year and capturing 27 percent of the U.S. market. About one fourth of domestic steel capacity today is not being utilized,” Thomas Gibson, AISI president and chief executive, said.

“We are pleased that the president is addressing this issue and look forward to the formal announcement next week,” Gibson added.

Skeptics, however, have countered that steel tariffs will raise steel prices, hurting steel-consuming companies like Caterpillar and GE, who are also big Ohio employers. Those companies have more workers than steel producers, these observers have noted.

“These proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports couldn’t come at a worse time,” said Cody Lusk, president and CEO of the American International Automobile Dealers Association. “Auto sales have flattened in recent months, and manufacturers are not prepared to absorb a sharp increase in the cost to build cars and trucks in America.”

RELATEDWhirlpool celebrates new Trump tariffs, adding 200 jobs in Ohio

Reader Comments

Next Up in Business

Next DP&L leader will face changing company, utility needs
Next DP&L leader will face changing company, utility needs

Dayton Power and Light’s next chief executive will take over a power company that has greatly changed in past years with workforce and business restructuring. For the second time in less than a year, the company that supplies power to 515,000 customers in 24 counties throughout west central Ohio announced this week a change at the company&rsquo...
Kroger reopens Derr Road store after $7 million renovation
Kroger reopens Derr Road store after $7 million renovation

The Kroger store on Derr Road held a grand reopening Friday morning after a $7 million remodel. The renovations will help Kroger continue to be one of the top grocery stores in the region, said Kimberly Cooley, manager of the Derr Road store. Kroger started construction on the store on May 1. “We decided to remodel to invest in our store and...
Parents and homeowners: check for these recalled products
Parents and homeowners: check for these recalled products

The latest recalled products include high chairs, children’s clothing, and shower-related items, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Skip Hop is recalling over 30,000 Tuo convertible high chairs because the legs can detach and cause your child to fall. There are 17 reports of legs coming off of the high chairs, but no injuries...
Rapper sues makers of video game 'Fortnite' over dance moves
Rapper sues makers of video game 'Fortnite' over dance moves

Rapper 2 Milly filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the makers of "Fortnite," saying they are illegally using a dance he created in their wildly popular video game. The Brooklyn-based rapper, whose real name is Terrence Ferguson, alleges that North Carolina-based "Fortnite"-maker Epic Games misappropriated his moves without compensation...
Coalition: Wright-Patt has best acquisition workforce ‘in the world’
Coalition: Wright-Patt has best acquisition workforce ‘in the world’

For the Dayton region, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is the gift that keeps giving. Members of the Dayton Development Coalition Thursday celebrated the base’s designation as the “preferred location” for the F-35 Lighting II fighter Hybrid Product Support Integrator organization, making the base the support hub for F-35s worldwide...
More Stories