President Donald Trump on Monday reiterated his insistence that pipeline makers use U.S. materials when they build projects in the United States, a sign that he will keep pressure on companies in the middle of the energy sector.
In a meeting with small business leaders, Trump clarified that he not only wants pipeline companies to purchase pipes fabricated in the United States, but also expects the pipe suppliers to use raw U.S. steel. This comes at a time when some manufacturers are already struggling under the rising cost of raw steel, due to efforts to prevent foreign countries from dumping cheap supplies in the North American market.
Trump also revealed how he would pressure pipeline companies to comply: by potentially refusing to exercise eminent domain, the government's ability to appropriate private land.
"If we're going to use our powers of eminent domain and all the other powers, then I want the pipe to be manufactured with United States steel," Trump said.
Trump signed a presidential memo last week that instructs the secretary of Commerce to develop a plan that would require any company that builds a pipeline within U.S. borders to use American-made materials and equipment.