U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday he will sign off “next week” on tariffs on cheap steel and aluminum imports, especially from China, which he said are harming U.S. producers. Mr. Trump made the announcement during a meeting at the White House with producers of the two metals, who would be among the principal beneficiaries of any new barriers to competing imports.
25% tariff on steel
He said a 25% tariff would be placed on steel products, and a 10% tariff would be imposed on aluminum.
Earlier on Thursday, Mr. Trump lashed out at “unfair trade” practices followed by other countries. “Our Steel and Aluminum industries (and many others) have been decimated by decades of unfair trade and bad policy with countries from around the world,” he tweeted. “We must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer. We want free, fair and SMART TRADE!”
And while Mr. Trump did not mention China in this latest tweet, it came on a day one of his top economic advisers, Gary Cohn, was due to meet with Chinese economic adviser Liu He at the White House.
Any U.S. action is likely to be challenged by the exporting countries in the World Trade Organization.
Meanwhile, industries in the U.S. have urged the administration to exercise care since high import tariffs would raise the cost of supplies.