US President Donald Trump will demand action by the Group of 20 leaders to reduce excess capacity and other distortions in the global steel market, according to a top White House economic adviser.
Trump will use the premise of a national security review of the US steel industry to demand action by the G20, Reuters cited US National Economic Council director Gary Cohn as saying on Thursday.
Trump will be attending a G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany on July 7-8.
Cohn told reporters that the US Commerce Department is preparing to submit its “Section 232″ report on the steel industry and potential new import restrictions.
“It’s in the final drafting form. They will be delivering it to the White House at some point,” Cohn said.
“But the premise of that report we will use as an opportunity to talk with many of our trading partners around the world about what’s going on in steel.”
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has said he aims to complete the study by the end of June, but congressional aides and steel industry officials say the timing could slip.
The study invokes a Cold War-era trade law that allows the president to restrict imports of goods deemed critical to national defense.
Ross has said he believes there is a “genuine” national security concern over the steel industry’s health and one possible remedy is to impose import quotas on certain products coupled with tariffs on any amounts that exceed the quotas.
Cohn said at a media briefing on Thursday that Trump will engage in discussions with G20 counterparts about promoting “free and fair trade”.
“The United States stands firm against all unfair trading practices, including massive distortions in the global steel market and other non-market practices that harm US workers. We ask the G20 economies to join us in this effort and to take concrete actions to solve these problems.”
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