September 25, 2017

Trump Administration Will Postpone Section 232 Steel Announcement Until After Federal Tax Reform Is Done

As Bloomberg has reported, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said last week in television interviews that his department will delay the release of its Section 232 study on steel imports into the United States until a federal tax reform bill had made its way through Congress.

Secretary Ross said this announcement does not mean that the Trump administration is not considering strong action for U.S. steel manufacturers. In fact, he told CNBC, “It’s not so much a question of backing away, it’s a question of timing … Tax is extremely important because that’s the biggest single incremental factor in getting growth over three percent.” Additionally, American Metal Market (subscription required) reported last week that the Trump administration is still expected “to recommend quotas or tariffs, or a combination of the two, to protect the U.S. steel industry from imports.”

The Trump administration and Republican leaders on the Capitol Hill will release a detailed tax plan this week and are hoping that a tax bill will make it through Congress and to President Donald Trump’s desk by the end of this year.

As Platts noted last Friday, the Metals Service Center Institute recently sent a letter to President Trump urging swift action on the Section 232 investigation. Click here to read that letter.