U.S. steel, aluminum execs invited to White House for possible announcement

Feb 28 (Reuters) - Several top U.S. steel and aluminum executives have been invited to the White House on Thursday for what could be a major trade announcement, according to two people familiar with the meeting.

U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to take steps to crack down on imports of steel and aluminum and has been considering imposing hefty tariffs on imports of the metals from China and other countries.

The possible announcement comes as top aides to Trump meet with a senior envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the White House.

The U.S. Commerce Department on Feb. 16 recommended that Trump impose stiff curbs on steel imports from China and other countries and offered the president several options ranging from global and country-specific tariffs to broad import quotas.

A blanket tariff on steel would cover every steel and aluminum product entering the American market from China.

A source close to the White House said Trump had expressed interest in imposing a tariff on steel imports of at least 24 percent.

Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo met U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer during a hastily arranged visit to Washington on Wednesday over concerns about possible U.S. tariffs on steel imports.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; editing by Richard Pullin)