Trump Receives Aluminum Report That Could Lead to Tariffs

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump has received the findings of a government study into U.S. aluminum imports that could result in tariffs or quotas and provide a boost to domestic producers.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has submitted the results of the Section 232 investigation to the president, who has 90 days to decide on any potential action, the department said Monday in a statement.

The department started the study in April to determine whether aluminum imports pose a threat to national security, a finding that could lead Trump to unilaterally impose tariffs or quotas, or to enter into talks with foreign producers to find a solution.

The development brings Trump closer to showing his hand on trade policy. The president, after one year in office, so far hasn’t delivered on many of the protectionist pledges he made on the campaign trail. Trump received results of a Section 232 study on steel imports earlier this month, and he’s expected to decide in coming weeks whether to crack down on solar panel and washing-machine imports.

“We expect that the report will recognize the significant role the aluminum industry plays in ensuring our nation’s security and welcome the opportunity to engage the administration on an appropriate remedy,” said Heidi Brock, president and chief executive officer of the Aluminum Association.

The Arlington, Virginia-based trade group “supports actions that specifically address Chinese overcapacity, and protect trading relationships between the U.S. and critical partner countries,” Brock said in a statement that outlined steps the industry wants the president to take.

Beijing has pushed back against U.S. talk of raising trade barriers, while many American manufacturers and metal producers have urged the White House to step in on their behalf.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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