Trump tar­gets cheap Chi­nese steel in probe

The Philippine Star - - BUSINESS -

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Thurs­day launched a trade probe against China and other ex­porters of cheap steel into the US mar­ket, rais­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of new tar­iffs and send­ing shares of some US steel mak­ers up over eight per­cent.

Cit­ing con­cerns about national se­cu­rity, Trump made the an­nounce­ment at a White House cer­e­mony with US steel ex­ec­u­tives from Nu­cor Corp., United States Steel Corp. and TimkenS­teel Corp. along­side Com­merce Sec­re­tary Wil­bur Ross, a bil­lion­aire busi­ness­man who made part of his for­tune in­vest­ing in the steel busi­ness.

“Steel is crit­i­cal to both our econ­omy and our mil­i­tary,” said Trump, a Repub­li­can. “This is not an area where we can af­ford to be­come de­pen­dent on for­eign coun­tries.”

Trump won many votes in in­dus­trial states like Michi­gan and Penn­syl­va­nia with a pledge to boost man­u­fac­tur­ing and crack down on Chi­nese trade prac­tices.

China is the largest national pro­ducer and makes far more steel than it con­sumes, sell­ing the ex­cess out­put over­seas, of­ten un­der­cut­ting do­mes­tic pro­duc­ers.

The un­usual step of launch­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion comes as Trump is pres­sur­ing China to do more to rein in an in­creas­ingly bel­liger­ent North Korea.

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