Trump Administration National Security Plan to Promote Tariffs on Aluminium

White House

A senior official in the administration of United States president Donald Trump told Reuters on Tuesday that the Trump government is preparing to introduce a new national security strategy that may include import tariffs on aluminium.

The official, who was not named in Reutersreporting, referred to a strategy document released on Monday. The document allegedly made the case for trade sanctions on steel and aluminium in order to protect the economic interests of the United States.

Though the document evidently did not explicitly reference the Section 232 investigation regarding possible national security threats posed by increased imports of steel and aluminium, it however did make clear the administration’s position that economic strength is inexorably tied to national security. Per the source, the document “formalizes” the link between the two.

According to the administration source, the document released Monday fired a verbal warning across the bow of the Chinese ship of state as well.

“The United States will engage industrialized democracies and other like-minded states to defend against economic aggression, in all its forms, that threatens our common prosperity and security.”

Per the source, the Section 232 investigations of steel and aluminium “are being discussed in the context of national security. The strategy highlights the importance of industrial strength, and that is also an element of the 232 analysis.”

The unnamed official continued by establishing that a “Section 301” investigation into the manner in which the People’s Republic of China handles intellectual property concerns may yield additional trade-based sanctions against the country.

“I think there will be enforcement actions by the U.S. that are related to the non-market challenge from China. The strategy recognizes that China is a rival and that puts into context that we need to take steps to protect American interests and American workers.”

Though meetings between Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping this summer may have resembled something of a détente between the two economic heavyweights, the trade relationship tying the countries together has become increasingly frayed. According to administration officials, no further meetings along these lines have been scheduled.

In the interim, the United States petitioned the World Trade Organization to reject labeling the Middle Kingdom a “market economy” in a bid likely to preserve trade barriers between China and several other countries.

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