Senators seek answers on steel tariffs
Committee asking White House for reasoning behind decision
A bipartisan pair of senators is asking the White House for more information on why it decided to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross last week, pointing out that the Trump administration’s response to a March 8 was unsatisfactory.
“Respectively, your response is incomplete and ignores what should be the basis for all trade discussions — to do no economic harm,” the senators said in the letter. “The American people and American industries deserve to know the consequences of the steel and aluminum tariffs. These tariffs will ripple throughout the entire U.S. economy and affect millions of Americans. If the department does not produce the entirety of the information requested in Chairman Johnson’s original letter by May 17, 2018, the committee may be forced to consider the use of compulsory process.”
The White House announced the tariffs, which levy a 25 percent tax on imported steel and a 10 percent tax on aluminum, in March. They took effect about two weeks later, after temporary exemptions were secured for the European Union and a number of U.S allies. China has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization over the levies.