April 6, 2018

Dear Mr. Speaker:     (Dear Mr. President:)

On January 11, 2018, the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) transmitted to me a report on his investigation into the effects of imports of steel mill articles on the national security of the United States under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1862).  On January 19, 2018, the Secretary transmitted to me a report on his investigation into the effects of imports of aluminum articles on the national security of the United States under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended.

On March 8, 2018, I took action under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended, to adjust imports of aluminum and steel by imposing a 10 percent ad valorem tariff on aluminum articles and a 25 percent ad valorem tariff on steel articles imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico, effective March 23, 2018 (Proclamations 9704 and 9705).  I concurred with the Secretary’s respective findings that aluminum and steel articles are being imported into the United States in such quantities and under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security of the United States.  In my judgment, these tariffs are necessary and appropriate in light of the many factors I have considered, including the Secretary’s reports, the failure of countries to agree on measures to reduce global excess capacity, the continued high level of imports since the beginning of the year, and special circumstances that exist with respect to Canada and Mexico.

On March 22, 2018, I modified the section 232 tariffs on aluminum and steel imports to temporarily suspend the tariffs for certain countries before they took effect (Proclamations 9710 and 9711).  Tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the member countries of the European Union, and South Korea are suspended until May 1, 2018, pending discussions regarding satisfactory, long-term alternative means to address the threatened impairment to the national security of the United States.  Any country with a security relationship with the United States not currently exempted remains welcome to discuss with us a possible exemption based on alternative means to address the threatened impairment to the national security of the United States caused by imports of aluminum and steel articles from that country.

On March 8, 2018, I also authorized a process for directly affected parties to apply for an exclusion for specific aluminum or steel products that they need.  The Secretary, in consultation with other Administration officials, will evaluate exclusion requests for products, taking into account national security considerations.  In that evaluation, the Secretary will consider whether a product is produced in the United States of a satisfactory quality or in a sufficient and reasonably available amount.  The Department of Commerce has published an interim final rule establishing this process.  83 Fed. Reg. 53, 12106 (March 19, 2018).

Sincerely,

DONALD J. TRUMP