Trade group concerned about Section 232 steel imports probe

April 21, 2017 - The president of the American Institute for International Steel, Richard Chriss, says members—who consist of traders and importers, are “concerned about the nature and scope” of a Section 232 investigation to be launched by the U.S. Department of Commerce under Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Chriss says the probe “should not be used as a basis to shield domestic manufacturers from fair price competition. At the very least, we hope that the Secretary will consider the national security and economic implications of protectionist policies that would limit the availability of steel and drive up its price.”

He points to the likelihood that “any trade restrictions imposed by the United States will invite retaliatory measures by other nations against exports from the United States, both steel related and non-steel related, which could have serious economic and security consequences of their own.

"We should address the global excess steel capacity problem without resorting to protectionist measures of our own," Chriss adds.

“Free trade in steel means that Americans pay global market prices. While this competition may indeed reduce the profits of domestic manufacturers,” steel consumers “benefit from not having to pay the artificially high prices that would result from measures that restrict trade."

Washington, D.C.-based AIIS will try to work Commerce “to provide objective data and information that will counter the misperceptions about steel imports on which this investigation appears to be based.”

[h/t American Institute for International Steel]

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