U.S. Commerce Department submits report to Trump on probe of imported steel

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-12 13:39:46|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Department of Commerce on Thursday formally submitted to President Donald Trump its report on the national security implications of steel imports, of which the department declined to reveal any details.

"After this submission, by law, the President has 90 days to decide on any potential action based on the findings of the investigation," the department said in a statement.

It added that after Trump announces his decisions, a summary of the report will be published in the Federal Register, the daily journal of the U.S. government containing government agency rules and public notices.

Last April, the department launched the so-called Section 232 investigations into imported steel products, a rarely-used trade tool to limit imports on the grounds of protecting national security.

It's not clear whether the Trump administration will take actions, either immediately upon receiving the report or after three months.

While U.S. steel companies have urged the Trump administration to further restrict steel imports, trade experts and economists have argued that steel imports pose no threat to U.S. national security and restrictions on imported steel would hurt the country's manufacturing and consumers.

"Steel protectionism would harm the domestic economy, jeopardize the rules-based trading system and needlessly provoke allies," Clark Packard, trade policy counsel at the Washington-based think tank R Street Institute, wrote in an analytical essay published on Wednesday.

"While the administration may be able to bolster a small slice of the domestic steel industry by imposing such restrictions, any benefits would be greatly outweighed by the damage done," he said, calling on the Trump administration to reject the imposition of import restrictions on steel.

KEY WORDS: U.S. Department of Commerce