WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he plans to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent and 10 percent on imports of steel and aluminum, respectively, from certain countries.
“We’ll be imposing tariffs on steel imports, and tariffs on aluminum imports. And you’re going to see a lot of good things happen. You’re going to see expansions of the companies,” Trump said during a meeting at the White House with steel and aluminum industry representatives.
Trump, who had until April to act on a Commerce Department report on the effects of imports on US steel and aluminum producers, told reporters his administration would announce the tariffs next week.
“Steel and aluminum will see a lot of good things happen. We’re going to have new jobs popping up. We’re going to have much more vibrant companies. And then the rest is going to be up to management to make them truly great,” Trump said.
Executives from several steel and aluminum companies, including Arcelor Mittal, Nucor and US Steel Corporation, attended the meeting with Trump.
The Commerce Department report, which was sent to the White House in mid-February, recommended that the president slap tariffs of up to 50 percent on imported steel and aluminum, and left open the possibility of setting quotas.
Trump did not say which countries would be subject to tariffs, but Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in the document, known as a Section 232 report, that China was “the largest source of excess steel capacity” in the world.
The US government also identified India, Brazil, Russia and South Korea as countries that might be subject to tariffs.
Trump, who vowed during his presidential campaign to protect American jobs, noted the toll that imports have taken on US steel and aluminum companies.
“What they do is they dump massive amounts of product on our country, and it just kills – it destroys our companies and our jobs. And it’s been happening for so many years, and we are not the beneficiary,” Trump said.