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Trump launches investigation into steel dumping

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Published: 10:35 GMT, Apr 21, 2017 |
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Donald Trump has launched an investigation into countries that export steel to the US, raising the prospect of new tariffs on imports. It is designed to stop countries from flooding the US with artificially cheap steel and undercutting local suppliers.

China is most often associated with the practice but the president said it had “nothing to do” with Beijing. He said it was about protecting US security. The news caused shares in US steelmakers to rise sharply.

However, Asian steelmakers also climbed as investors appeared to shrug off the news.

The US government has previously attempted to shield national steelmakers from cheap foreign steel through the World Trade Organization, but the Trump administration says this has had little impact.

Instead, its investigation will fall under the US Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which lets the president impose restrictions on imports for reasons of national security.

“Steel is critical to both our economy and our military,” Mr Trump said. “This is not an area where we can afford to become dependent on foreign countries.”

China is the largest national producer and makes far more steel than it consumes, selling the excess output overseas, often at subsidised prices.