US: Trump orders steel imports probe as US Steel fights China

The Trump administration began an investigation of steel imports into the US, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday, April 20. This as US Steel asked a trade agency to investigate its claims that rival Chinese manufacturers colluded to fix prices and undercut competitors in the American market.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign a memorandum encouraging the Commerce probe, which will explore whether steel imports hinder national security under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act.

Imports have risen “despite repeated Chinese claims that they were going to reduce their steel capacity,” Ross said in a briefing for reporters at the White House. “It’s a very serious impact upon the domestic industry.”

The US International Trade Commission in Washington is hearing US Steel’s argument that an antitrust complaint it filed against Chinese manufacturers should be revived. A trade judge in November had thrown out the claim, saying the agency didn’t have the legal authority to hear the allegations.

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