Trump increases tariffs on imports of steel, aluminum derivatives

Construction workers are seen as they work with steel rebar during the construction of a building on May 17, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by AFP)

US President Donald Trump has increased trade tariffs on steel and aluminum, claiming the two commodities impact national security.

Trump on Friday signed a proclamation increasing derivative steel products by an additional 25 percent and boosting duties on derivative aluminum products by an additional 10 percent.

However, several countries were exempted from the tariffs due to security considerations.

Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, South Korea and Australia were exempted from the additional tariffs on steel products. Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Australia were also exempted from the added tariffs on aluminum goods.

Trump said in the proclamation that foreign producers have boosted the shipments of derivative goods in order to circumvent the existing duties on steel and aluminum.

“[I]mports of these derivative articles threaten to undermine the actions taken to address the risk to the national security of the United States,” Trump said in the proclamation. “[D]omestic production capacity to produce aluminum articles and steel articles for national defense and critical infrastructure is essential to United States national security," he added

“I have concluded that it is necessary and appropriate in light of our national security interests to adjust the tariffs imposed by previous proclamations to apply to the derivatives of aluminum articles and steel articles,” he further added, concluding, “This action is necessary and appropriate to address circumvention that is undermining the effectiveness of the adjustment of imports.” 

The president says the tariffs, which will take effect on Feb. 8., aim to help strengthen US production, thus, boosting  impacts national security.


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