The Insider

Trump to finalize planned steel tariffs this week, despite DOD concerns

March 05, 2018 |
Tony Bertuca
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President Trump is expected to finalize U.S. policy this week for broad tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, despite the Defense Department's concern that it could "impair" national security.

The Pentagon made its position known in a memo released last month by the Commerce Department:

While the Pentagon agrees that imports of steel and aluminum "impair" national security, it has warned that trade restrictions stemming from the Commerce Department Section 232 investigations could harm relationships with key allies.

The Defense Department "continues to be concerned about the negative impact on our key allies regarding the recommended options within the [Section 232] reports," DOD said in an undated memo released by Commerce this week. "However, DOD recognizes that among these reports' alternatives, targeted tariffs are more preferable than a global quota or global tariff."

Moreover, the Pentagon argues, "It is critical that we reinforce to our key allies that these [Section 232] actions are focused on correcting Chinese overproduction and countering their attempts to circumvent existing antidumping tariffs -- not the bilateral U.S. relationship."

Watch Inside Defense for additional reporting.