U.S. and China to discuss trade

A worker builds an aircraft engine at Honeywell Aerospace in Phoenix Sept. 6 2016. Aerospace is among the manufacturing sectors that could be affected by import tariffs on steel and aluminum

Section 232 Reports | Department of Commerce

The White House is considering a 24% tariff on all steel imports-the most severe recommendation put forth by the commerce department.

Senior U.S. officials will discuss trade disputes next week when a top Chinese economic official visits Washington, a senior U.S. official said on Friday.

Trump campaigned on the promise of reviving long-battered USA industries like coal, steel and manufacturing, which hemorrhaged millions of jobs nationwide from the late 1970s onward as both automation and cheaper imports from overseas, particularly China and Japan, forced local factories to shut down. "As with every decision he makes, the security of the American people and the American economy will be the president's primary concerns while he considers his potential options", White House spokesman Raj Shah said. And while the White House is saying the tariffs are primarily targeting China and Russian Federation, other countries are getting anxious.

If the administration takes action on steel, the DoD recommends waiting before taking any further steps on aluminum, he said.

However, US officials say they do not expect a major breakthrough. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the measures are meant to be broad and are created to prevent targeted nations from circumventing the limits by shipping through a third country.

If President Donald Trump decides to move forward with targeted tariffs or quotas on steel, Mattis recommended that the labor leaders and management of the impacted industries be convened by the president so they would understand that the tariffs and quotas are conditional.

The US official said Trump has discussed imposing a global tariff on imports of steel from China and other nations.

China has expressed concerns over excessive protectionism in the U.S. steel sector and urged restraint.

The Commerce Department released a report last month declaring steel and aluminum imports from China and elsewhere a national security threat. "I would just urge us to go very, very cautiously here", Toomey said during a White House session devoted to trade. Mike Lee, R-Utah, "you would end up with net job losses in the United States". The Trump administration has threatened tough action against China including punitive tariffs, sanctions and even a trade war. But we will know in April what Trump will do.

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