Trump says tariffs on metals imports 'have worked'

1 minute

The U.S. tariffs on metal imports from China have helped even out competition for the nation's steel and aluminum producers, despite creating problems for other industries, said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

Those tariffs have worked insofar as they leveled the playing field, Raimondo said in an interview that will be broadcast on Bloomberg Television Thursday. I 'm not saying they are perfect- they have created other challenges.

The administration implemented a 25% duty on steel imports and 10% on inward-bound aluminum shipments three years ago using section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which allows for the levies without a vote by Congress if imports are considered a national security threat. The former president said the tariffs were needed to protect the domestic industry from going under.

The benefits of these duties remain unclear; most end-users- from Harley Davidson Inc. and Whirlpool Corp. to Caterpillar Inc. and Molson Coors Beverage Co.- have complained that the tariffs add to their raw materials costs, but they also can cut into profits. The steel industry has been very vocal in the recent months that the new administration needs to work with trade allies to force countries like China to reduce overcapacity that is depressing global prices.

The fact is China does n't play fair, it does what it takes, so we need to level the playing field in our toolbox to American workers have a shot, Raimondo said.

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