The global steel industry is ready for a crackdown on Chinese “dumping” by Donald Trump, who is suspected of claiming cheap imports that are a threat to national security.
Steel industry and diplomatic experts expect Mr Trump to use this weekend’s G20 summit of world pioneers in Hamburg as a platform to frighten Chinese steel and aluminium with heavy tariffs. Such a move would indicate his administration’s biggest protectionist move yet.
The US has been examining the effect of low-cost imports since April. Mr Trump could build barriers to Chinese steel imports without requiring the approval of Congress by using little-used Presidential powers under trade legislation beginning back to the climax of the Cold War. The global steel industry is planning for action in part because of more hostile rhetoric from the President.
The President of the United States of America, Mr Donald Trump, is using the intimidation of a trade war to require that global leaders reduce steelmaking capability.
Last week he used Twitter to declare: “[I] don’t like steel & aluminium dumping!”.
Really great numbers on jobs & the economy! Things are starting to kick in now, and we have just begun! Don’t like steel & aluminum dumping!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2017
Mr Trump is said to be taking into account tariffs of up to 20 percent on imported steel and aluminium. Other more targeted alternatives such as a system of quotas have also been questionable.
Mr Trump’s plans could question World Trade Organisation rules, which permit tariffs for purposes of national security. However, no nation has sought to test the meaning of national security.
His crackdown would be in contradiction to the free trade strategy taken by the Government as Chinese imports have wrecked the Britain’s remaining steel industry.
As manufactories across the country were endangered with cessation in 2015, the then-Business Secretary Sajid Javid stated:
“No government can change the price of steel in the global market, no government can dictate foreign exchange rates, and no government can simply disregard foreign regulations on free trade and state aid.”