The Donald has until mid-April to announce action.
If you had your television turned onto one of the big cable news channels on Tuesday morning, chances are you caught a glimpse of an ad sponsored by the team here at the Alliance for American Manufacturing. But in case you didn't see it, check it out:
The ad is just the latest in our ongoing advocacy effort urging President Trump to act on the "Section 232" steel imports investigation. If you come to these parts often, you know the story — foreign countries like China, Russia and others have been flooding the global market with their heavily subsidized steel, which is priced far below fair market value.
American steel companies, which operate in a free market system, cannot compete with competitors whose products are underwritten by foreign governments. Tens of thousands of steelworkers have faced layoffs, dozens of facilities have closed as a result, and the global steel crisis continues.
But this isn't just a major economic issue. There also are national security implications, since we need steel (and aluminum, which is the focus of its own 232 investigation) to both equip our military and build our critical infrastructure. Right now, there's just one American steelmaker that is capable of making the type of steel needed for the electric grid, and only one smelter that can make the high purity aluminum needed to build fighter jets like the F-35.
The Commerce Department recently concluded that these imports are indeed a national security threat, and offered Trump recommendations for action. Now it's on the president to decide what to do, and he's facing a mid-April deadline.
Trump, of course, has long boasted about how he plans to act to defend American steel and aluminum — he did so just this week at the White House, in fact. But as we said in the ad — we heard the promises. Now it's time for action.