Daily Management Review

The US is considering an attack on imported aluminum


The Minister of Commerce in Donald Trump’s administration Wilbur Ross said that his department will begin an investigation of aluminum imports in the United States. "The president will sign a memorandum on assessing whether there is a threat to US national security from aluminum imports," Mr. Ross said at a briefing in the White House.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the investigation’s results can have a big impact on how the price of aluminum will change in the world market, and whether additional duties on its delivery will be imposed. The largest exporters of this metal in the US, Canada and China, may suffer the most.

According to the Minister of Trade, it is about the same proceedings that the Ministry of Trade, as directed by the White House, initiated earlier on the supply of steel to the US, CNBC reports.

On March 31, Wilbur Ross said that the United States was in a state of commercial war. On the same day, US President Donald Trump signed a decree on foreign trade. The officials are ordered to prepared a comprehensive report on those trade partners of the United States, "in trade with which there was a significant deficit in 2016". Earlier, in January, the administration announced that it was going to review all American free trade agreements.

The day after announcement of plans for introduction of tariffs for Canadian timber, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said that the Trump administration could also take measures to protect America's aluminum, semiconductor and shipbuilding industry as part of a new aggressive trade policy.

In an extensive interview with The Wall Street Journal, Ross said that he intends to intensify free trade negotiations with the European Union, Britain and Japan, and consider a possibility of resuming bilateral trade deals with South Korea and China.

Ross said that the revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico is a priority, and that he hopes to completely rewrite the treaty by the end of the year.

Ross also said that the US could intervene to support Westinghouse Electric, a Japanese Toshiba factory that built nuclear power plants, which filed for bankruptcy in March, so that the company did not fall into Chinese buyers’ hands. According to Ross, possession of nuclear potential is a matter of national security.

In general, Ross softened President Donald Trump’s rather harsh rhetoric regarding trade with China, as the meeting between Xi Jinping and Trump at the beginning of the month normalized the situation with China's trade surplus with the United States.

source: wsj.com, cnbc.com

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