Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has recommended to President Donald Trump a wide range of options to deal with aluminum and steel dumping in the U.S., including potentially higher tariffs, sources told CNBC.
The options also include specifically targeting “bad actors” in other countries that are active in imports of the metals. Trump and his administration announced the Section 232 investigation into steel and aluminum in April 2017. The investigation was to determine whether the imports posed a threat to the country’s national security.
Trump has 90 days to review the so-called 232 report’s findings and recommendations. The president would then decide on what course of action to take.
When he nominated Ross to be Commerce secretary, Trump put the former investor at the forefront of his ambitious, nationalist trade policy. During the election, Trump scored points with an array of working-class voters by saying he would renegotiate trade deals, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, which the president has said favored other countries over the U.S.
During his confirmation hearing last year, Ross told senators he considered himself “an activist” for U.S. industries and would be willing to provide “people power” to enable the department to self-initiate anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases.
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