Press Briefing by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Press Briefing by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on the Memorandum Regarding the Investigation Pursuant to Section 232 (B) of the Trade Expansion Act
PoliticalNews.me - Apr 21,2017 - Press Briefing by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on the Memorandum Regarding the Investigation Pursuant to Section 232 (B) of the Trade Expansion Act
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
11:10 A.M. EDT
SECRETARY ROSS: Thank you very much for coming this morning. Last night, the Department of Commerce initiated an investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The technical caption is 19 USC 1862.
What that's all about is that authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to conduct comprehensive investigations to determine the effects of imports of any particular item into the United States on the security of the country. This has been invoked a number of times before, most notably in the period of the Arab oil crisis some years ago.
So what it will include consideration of is, one, the domestic production needed for our projected national defense requirements; two, the domestic industry’s capacity to meet those requirements; third, the related human and material resources; fourth, the importation of goods in terms of their quantities and use; fifth, the close relation of national economic welfare to national security; sixth, the loss of skills and investment, substantial unemployment and decrease in government revenue; and finally, the impact of foreign competition on specific domestic industries and the impact of displacement of a domestic product by excess of import.
What does that mean in real terms? Over the years, we've conducted 152 steel cases against improper imports of one type of steel or another, and we have another 25 cases pending. The problem with those anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases is they’re very, very limited in nature to a very, very specific product from a very, very specific country. So what really happens is you’ll bring the action and that will help eliminate the problem with that one little product from that one country. That country then will start shipping something else in, or they’ll modify slightly the product to get around the order, or they will ship it in through another country and pretend that it came from a country not subject to the duties.
So it’s a fairly porous system, and while it has accomplished some fair measure of reduction, it doesn’t solve the whole problem. So we’re groping here to see whether the facts warrant a more comprehensive solution that would deal with a very wide range of steel products and a very wide range of countries.
So that’s really the genesis of it. And, as you know, steel has been a very important issue in the President’s campaign for office and in his actions subsequent to being in office. The then-candidate Trump, a quote from him, “Foreign nations are dumping vast amounts of steel all over the United States, which essentially is killing our steel workers and steel companies. We will put new American steel into the spine of this country. We’re going to use American steel. We’re going to use American labor. We’re going to come first in all