Washington: The US President Donald Trump has ordered an investigation on steel imports which are being dumped in the US by China and some other countries. He has stressed that this should be investigated as it directly impacts the national security of United States. Whilst signing the commencement orders for this investigation, Trump revealed that this does not specifically relate to China. However, Wilbur Ross the US Secretary of Commerce, is apparently seen supporting Trump’s order of investigation, but has first targeted China directly. Hence it seems definite that this investigation was mainly directed on Chinese imports.
While giving orders for the investigation, US President Trump highlighted that steel forms a very important part of the US economy, as well as defense. Hence they cannot be dependent on other nations for this particular sector. He also indicated that this investigation does not have any relation to China. He supported his decision of probe by saying that they need to stop whatever is happening around the world and that dumping has become a worldwide problem.
For issuing President Trump’s orders regarding investigation, they have taken assistance of 1962 Trade Expansion Act. As per the provisions in this act, it authorizes the US president to set barriers or tariffs on imports of certain products for reasons of national security. Trump has estimated that this probe will be completed within 50 days. At that time, US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross openly criticized China’s actions.
Wilbur Ross alleged that in the current year, within the first two months alone, the steel imports to US have increased by 20%, most of which comes from China. Currently in the American markets, 26% of all the steel is Chinese. The Chinese have always said that they were planning to reduce their steel production but in reality their production has continued to grow steadily. Hence considering Wilbur Ross’s views on China, it clearly indicates that the investigation that Trump has initiated will be directed towards Chinese imports.
China produces the highest amount of steel in world. According to current assessments, at the global level, 50% of the steel is produced by China. In the past few years, they have constantly increased their production; however they continue to import their low quality steel for reduced prices. This has hugely affected steel- producing corporates in the US and European countries. Therefore these companies have demanded an aggressive investigation against China.
A few months ago, the European Union (EU) had announced that they had put some restrictions on imports made from China. They had decided to levy a tax of more than 70% on the steel imported from China. In spite of China’s opposition to the above decision, the EU did not change their stance. Following this background, it is quite possible that China will react strongly to the investigation ordered by the US President.