Calling it an historic day for American steel, President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum Thursday prioritizing an investigation of the impact of foreign steel imports on U.S. national security.
Trump said the investigation would examine foreign practices such as steel dumping, the targeting of American industry and other foreign strategies designed to undermine American industry as a whole.
"Maintaining the production of American steel is extremely important to our national security and our defense industrial base. Steel is critical to both our economy and our military," Trump said. "This is not an area where we can afford to become dependent on foreign countries."
"We have a product where we actually need foreign countries to be nice to us in order to fight for our people," he added. "And that's not gonna happen any longer, believe me, especially as it comes to steel."
Trump said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will make formal recommendations to the White House based on the investigation in the very near future.
The president suggested that his promise to take action to protect American workers was one of the primary reasons he won the presidential election.
Trump argued he has followed through on that pledge, beginning with the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which he claimed would have been a catastrophe for American businesses and workers.
"From now on, we're going to stand up for Americans jobs, workers, their security and for American steel companies and companies in general," Trump said. "Today's action is the next vital step toward making America strong and prosperous once again."
Trump also took the opportunity to renew his attacks on NAFTA, one of his favorite targets on the campaign trail.
While Trump has previously focused his ire on Mexico, he singled out Canada in his remarks, accusing the U.S. neighbor to the north of taking advantage of American dairy farmers as well as those in the lumber, timber, and energy industries.
Steel stocks have moved sharply higher during trading on the news of the investigation, with the NYSE Arca Steel Index jumping by 3 percent after ending the previous session at a five-month closing low.
(Photo: Gage Skidmore)
by RTT Staff Writer
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