Asia steelmaker shares rise despite Trump salvo on trade

  • Asia steelmaker shares rise despite Trump salvo on trade

Asia steelmaker shares rise despite Trump salvo on trade

President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday launching an investigation into whether certain steel imports from countries like China affect national security.

"From now on, we're going to stand up for American jobs, workers, their security and for American steel companies", he said, signing a memo formalizing the investigation alongside USA steelmakers. The law allows the president to impose restrictions on imports for reasons of national security.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will make recommendations to the White House based on results of the investigation, which come as soon as 50 days or as late as 270 days.

"In the first couple months of this year alone, steel imports rose 19.6 percent year over year and are now more than 26 percent of the entire USA marketplace", Ross said.

Administration officials said there are national security implications from imports of steel alloys that are used in products such as the armor plating of ships and require a lot of expertise to create and produce.

"Steel is critical to both our economy and our military", U.S President Trump said.

At present, the United States imports steel from over 90 countries, including Canada, Mexico, Russia, Brazil, Turkey and Germany.

"We have a product where we actually need foreign countries to be nice to us in order to fight for our people", he added.

"We are going to use American steel". Steel imports now make up more than 26 percent of the entire US marketplace, and the report will examine to what extent those imports impinge on USA economic and national defense security, Mr. Ross said.

China has often been accused of importing vast amounts of steel to the U.S., undercutting domestic producers.

Is imported steel a national security risk?

The Thai steel industry is not yet in the clear after having faced several years of oversupply, mostly from China, at a time when local demand was not very strong, forcing local steel companies to ask for anti-dumping measures from the government to briefly stop the influx of cheap steel.

President Donald Trump shares a laugh with (clockwise from left) Ms.Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Secretary Tom Price, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Vice President Mike Pence on.

After Trump's meeting Thursday afternoon with top management in the steel industry, many infrastructure stocks were trading in green territory and tracking for their best days in weeks.

"Everything they export is dumping", said Derek Scissors, Asia economist at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank. This has to do with worldwide, what's happening.

Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, which represents steelworkers and industry, said the investigation "hopefully could provide some breathing space for the steel industry".

Trump promised as a candidate to revitalize the American steel industry, the decline of which has been especially hard on states like Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania that were crucial to his victory.