Asserting that such measures are critical for the reemergence of the American aluminium sector, United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross defended the Trump administration’s Section 232 tariffs in an op-ed published earlier this week.
Ross praised the measure in the piece, opining the move as decisive in the sector’s reinvigoration.
“The remarkable revitalization of America’s metal industries would not be happening without President Trump’s Section 232 tariffs,” he opined.
He went on to say that the aluminium and steel industries “has suffered virtual collapse” due to a drop in production and a rise in imports, largely from a single source.
“By far, China has been the root source of global excess capacity,” Ross posited.
“We cannot allow China’s exportation of its domestic employment concerns to threaten industries critical to US national security. We have asked our friends and trading partners to help us rein in this overcapacity.”
In addition to the missive penned by Ross, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow appeared on a U.S. cable news channel calling for action on Chinese imports. Though not an advocate of the blanket tariffs on aluminium, Kudlow asserted that Chinese trade practices merited a strong response from the administration.
Kudlow also noted that the Trump administration is in trade talks with both the European Union and Mexico at the moment, but he declined to elaborate on the state of discussions.
The Trump administration found itself on defense last week as several members of Congress have attacked the unilateral nature of the Section 232 tariffs. Bills changing the Trade Expansion Act to require Congressional approval are pending in both houses, and the highly-influential House Ways and Means Committee has scheduled a hearing to discuss the product exclusion process outlined by the section for early in the coming week.
The hearings come only days after Washington state Representative Dave Reichert appealed to the administration to exempt Canada and Mexico from aluminium and steel tariffs due to their effect upon the agricultural trade relationship the U.S. has with those countries.