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March 6, 2017

Metals Service Center Institute Encouraged by President’s Trade Policy Draft

Last Wednesday, the Trump Administration released its 2017 Trade Policy Agenda and 2016 Annual Report to Congress. The White House is required by law to make this submission annually to Congress. As noted in the introduction, the trade policy agenda portion of the report was much shorter this year due to the fact that Robert Lighthizer, President Donald Trump’s choice to be U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), has not yet been confirmed. 

The report outlined the Trump administration’s primary objectives for its trade policy. They are:

  • Ensuring that U.S. workers and businesses have a fair opportunity to compete for business in the United States and around the world.
  • Breaking down unfair trade barriers in other markets that block U.S. exports.
  • Maintaining a balanced policy that looks out for the interests of all segments of the U.S. economy.
  • Strictly enforcing U.S. trade laws to prevent the U.S. market from being distorted by dumped and/or subsidized imports that harm domestic industries and workers.
  • Resisting efforts by other countries—or members of international bodies like the World Trade Organization (WTO)—to advance interpretations that would weaken the rights and benefits of, or increase the obligations under, the various trade agreements to which the United States is a party.
  • Updating current trade agreements as necessary to reflect changing times and market conditions.
  • Ensuring that United States trade policy contributes to the economic strength and manufacturing base necessary to maintain – and improve – our national security.

The Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) responded to the outline in a statement issued to the press. MSCI President and CEO M. Robert Weidner said:

“We are encouraged by early outlines of the Trump administration trade law enforcement program, which sidesteps the World Trade Organization when necessary. As the Trump trade team fleshes out this promising approach, we emphatically urge a renewed focus on China’s consistent and damaging trade law and currency violations. Equally important, we believe the only effective way to bring U.S. manufacturing back to its full potential is through a comprehensive, integrated approach to trade law prosecution that accounts for the impact a single enforcement action has up and down the entire industrial metals supply chain. At this critical time, we also call on the Senate to finally confirm Robert Lighthizer, President Trump’s nominee for U.S. Trade Representative, as well as the administration’s remaining cabinet nominees. Further delay by our elected representatives only retards this nation’s promise and economic progress.”