REP. RICK NOLAN (D-MINN.) ON PRESIDENT TRUMP’S TARIFF ON FOREIGN STEEL
He’s taking a lot of heat, but President Trump did the right thing by imposing a 25 percent tariff on foreign steel last week, and I’m defending his decision to the hilt. Using his authority under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, Trump’s move came after the Commerce Department determined that illegal dumping of millions of tons of sub-par foreign steel into the U.S. marketplace is threatening U.S. national security by undermining the domestic iron ore and steel industries and putting thousands of miners and steelworkers out of work.
Specifically, the President’s decision with respect to these tariffs is the right one, for three important reasons:
Reason No. 1: The decision concurs with the overwhelming consensus of the U.S. House of Representatives – that last July unanimously passed the bipartisan Nolan amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill declaring that America’s iron ore and steel industries and the good paying jobs they support are essential to our national economy and our national security.
Reason No. 2: In anticipation of the President’s action to impose these tariffs, China and other trade cheater nations have stepped up their illegal steel dumping into the U.S. marketplace – often through third party nations employed to disguise the real source – and further undermining our iron ore and steel industries and thousands of good paying jobs. These new tariffs, which the President has applied to all nations, should help put a stop to the flood of illegal steel that continues to find its way into the United States.
And reason No. 3: We know tariffs and taxes work to level the playing field so American workers can complete fairly in the global marketplace. I was proud to work with President Obama and his administration to impose tariffs and taxes of up to 520 percent against a variety of steel products from China and other trade cheater nations. As a result, the domestic market improved and stabilized, making it possible for thousands of Iron Range miners and steelworkers across the Nation to go back to work.
Moreover, in my judgment, dire predictions that this latest round of steel tariffs will spark a trade war with other nations are overblown. The fact is that no such events took place after the much higher tariffs imposed on foreign steel products under the Obama Administration.