Trump could determine that specific countries should be exempted from the proposed quota, based on the economic or security interests of the United States. "And we presented the President with a range of alternatives that goes from a big tariff on everything from everywhere, to very selective tariffs from a very selective group of countries".
Century Aluminum Company owns primary aluminum capacity in the United States and Iceland.
During Trump's first year in office, the US trade deficit grew by 12 percent.
Trump is required to make a decision on steel by April 11 and on aluminum by April 19. This option also includes a quota on the amount of steel that can be imported from these nations.
Senator Pat Toomey cautioned the president to proceed cautiously under Section 232 for national security reasons, arguing that USA defense needs account for only about 3 percent of domestic steel consumption.
US President Donald Trump has threatened China with sanctions for trade imbalance and policies that are hurting the American industry, a move that could result in increasing chances of a trade war between two of the world's largest economies.
The U.S. aluminum industry helps manufacturers produce sustainable and innovative products, including more fuel-efficient vehicles, recyclable packaging, greener buildings and modern electronics.
Alternatively, the agency said it recommended a steel tariff of at least 53 percent on all steel imports from 12 countries - Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Russia, South Korea, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. The American Automotive Policy Council, a Washington-based trade group that represents GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, warned in May that import restrictions would hurt the auto industry and its workers. Aluminum prices climbed almost 2% on the news.
From 2013 to 2016 aluminum industry employment fell by 58%, 6 smelters shut down, and only two of the remaining 5 smelters are operating at capacity, even though demand has grown considerably.
"In addition, at today's reduced military spending, military consumption of aluminum is a small percentage of total consumption and therefore is insufficient by itself to preserve the viability of the smelters", Commerce said. The tariffs and quotas would vary from country to country, with the highest ones going to aluminum from China and Russian Federation, among other countries, and the highest steel tariffs on imports from countries including Brazil, China and Russian Federation.
The department suggests a variety of ways the United States could act to restrict imports.
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