The Commerce Department on Friday recommended imposing heavy tariffs or quotas on foreign producers of steel and aluminum in the interest of national security, following a trade investigation of imports.
President Donald Trump and his administration announced the so-called Section 232 investigation into steel and aluminum imports in April. The investigation sought to determine whether the imports posed a threat to the country's national security.
On Friday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross reported that steel is in fact important to U.S. national security, and current import flows are adversely impacting the steel industry.
"[T]he Secretary of Commerce concludes that the present quantities and circumstance of steel imports are 'weakening our internal economy' and threaten to impair the national security as defined in Section 232," the department said.
In a 262-page document, Ross recommended a couple alternatives for the president to take "immediate action by adjusting the level of imports through quotas or tariffs." The department's goal is to increase demand for American-made metals.
Trump must respond to the reports by April 11 and 19 for steel and aluminum, respectively.