Why We Imposed the Metal Tariffs
By Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
The Wall Street Journal
March 8, 2018
The president acted because steel and aluminum imports have helped erode the domestic industry to the point that it threatens national security. Unfair trading practices from countries like China have distorted the global steel and aluminum markets. It is time to halt the damage.
Since 1998, countless steel mills and aluminum smelters have closed. More than 75,000 steel jobs alone have disappeared. Today the U.S. has only one steel mill that can produce the advanced alloys used in armored-vehicle plating; one aluminum smelter that makes the high-grade aluminum needed for defense aerospace applications; and one steel mill that makes the materials needed for infrastructure like electrical transformers.
These tariffs aim to reverse this sorry state of affairs. Companies that produce steel and aluminum have said these tariffs will allow them to reopen mills, expand operations, attract new workers, and maintain critical steel- and aluminum-making skills.
The president will not stand idle while unfair practices erode America’s steel and aluminum industries and threaten national security. Other countries understand that.
Further escalating this issue is counterproductive. Rather, countries should take responsibility for their unfair practices and work together to address the underlying problems facing these industries. The U.S. is ready and willing to engage in such efforts.