WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — President Donald Trump signed a memorandum on Thursday that directs the Department of Commerce to expedite its investigation of the effects that steel imports have on US national security.
"Today, I'm directing the Department of Commerce to immediately prioritize the investigation it began yesterday, and really long before that cause [Commerce Secretary] Wilbur [Ross] and I have been working on this for a long time, into foreign steel arriving into our markets and submit a report on the effects of these foreign steel products on the national security of the United States," Trump stated.
United States Steel Corporation said in a press release on Thursday it is pleased President Trump and the Department of Commerce are going to investigate the effects of steel imports on US security.
"A strong steel industry is at the foundation of America's economic and national security, and United States Steel Corporation is pleased that President Trump is initiating a Section 232 national security investigation by the Commerce Department," the release stated.
Earlier in the day, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the increase in Chinese steel exports now represents 26 percent of the US steel market and has a major impact on the American steel industry.
"Steel imports…have continued to rise, and have continued to rise despite continued Chinese claims that they were going to reduce their steel capacity when instead they have actually been increasing it consistently," he said.
Ross added that Chinese steel now represents 26 percent of the US steel market.
"It’s a very serious impact on the domestic industry," the secretary said.
Ross explained that China has over 1 billion tons of steel-producing capacity — one half the capacity of the entire world. Moreover, the 100 million tons the Chinese export is equal to the entire production capacity of the US steel industry.