It's all coming down to this.
It's been nearly two weeks since the Commerce Department officially unveiled the findings of its "Section 232" investigations into steel and aluminum imports, and still no word from President Trump on what he will ultimately do with Commerce's recommendations.
Wait... we take that back. Trump certainly keeps talking about steel imports. Just Monday, in fact, Trump said during a meeting with governors at the White House that he wants "to bring the steel industry back into our country," adding that "If that takes tariffs, let it take tariffs, OK?"
But what The Donald has yet to do is officially announce action on steel and aluminum imports. On Wednesday, Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul wrote to Trump urging him to "act immediately" on the Commerce Department's recommendations and "institute an effective remedy that will be sufficiently broad and robust enough to defend America's steel industry and its works from imports that threaten our national security and domestic welfare."
Here's more from Paul:
Mr. President, while you have until mid-April to make a final decision on these matters, there is absolutely no reason to wait that long. America's steel workers are hurting, their communities are on the brink, and each passing day without action puts our national security at further risk.
Momentum continues to build for swift and decisive action. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was among the Members of Congress who urged Trump to take action following the public release of the 232 reports, saying that he hopes the recommendations "are the beginning of efforts by this administration to finally get tough on China and help level teh playing field for American steel and aluminum producers and workers."
Schumer isn't the only one calling for action, of course:
- Both Republicans and Democrats have called upon President Trump to protect American jobs and defend our national security and act on steel and aluminum imports. The Congressional Steel Caucus specifically has continued to call for action, with co-chair Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.) noting in a Feb. 16 statement that "America's steel industry is not only integral to our economy, but is vitally important to our national security as well."
- Ten retired military generals and flag officers wrote to Trump to highlight the threat imports pose to national security, writing that if "U.S. manufacturing capabilities are compromised, we will be forced to rely on countries like China and Russia to supply our military and critical infrastructure needs."
- Dozens of steelworkers descended on Washington in September 2017 to push for action, telling lawmakers and members of the press that many of them, along with tens of thousands of their colleagues, have faced layoffs because of the ongoing imports crisis. The steelworkers noted that entire communities are hanging in the balance and pushed Trump to act as quickly as possible.
- AAM supporters have sent nearly 140,000 messages to the White House since the 232 investigation launched in April urging the president to act immediately to defend American-made steel and aluminum.
Paul's letter also follows the launch of a 30-second television ad that debuted on Tuesday on several cable news networks further encouraging Trump to issue his decision on steel and aluminum imports.
"Immediate action on your part is necessary to prevent this strategic industry — vital to our national security, defense requirements, and economic welfare — from falling into the hands of China, Russia, and other strategic competitors," Paul wrote.