Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement in response to the president’s announcement that he plans to impose tariffs on unspecified steel and aluminum products from a list of countries that has not yet been finalized.
“The announcement today raises more questions than it answers. Americans are still waiting for a real solution to the fundamental issue: China’s unfair trade tactics, including massive overcapacity in steel and aluminum. Our workers and businesses need focused action that will end China’s policies, discourage such behavior in the future and address the issues oversupply causes in the world market. These actions need to give American workers a fair shake and bring back jobs in industries important to our national security,” said Wyden. “It is too soon to tell whether this administration is up to the task of delivering that kind of action.”
China maintains significant overcapacity in steel and aluminum, as a result of heavy subsidization of its industry. Two years ago, Congress gave the president new tools to stop trade cheating, including the Leveling the Playing Field Act, which helped U.S. steel companies obtain tariffs against unfairly traded steel imports, and the ENFORCE Act, which allowed U.S. Customs to detect and prevent circumvention of trade orders. Imports of steel products from China have fallen to 3% of total U.S. steel imports as a result of trade remedy actions.