President Trump and his trade policymakers have made no secret of their desire to restrict steel imports as part of their focus on U.S. manufacturing. But the broad U.S. manufacturing community will not be well-served by such a move. What those limitations will actually do is increase US steel prices above their already high levels.
Steel is already one of the country's most protected sectors. U.S. law allows special duties to be assessed against imports that are priced at what the Department of Commerce has determined to be unfairly low levels. Over 200 anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders, which are intended to "protect" US producers from so-called unfair competition, currently constrain imports of steel and iron products from a long list of countries. The effect has been to raise U.S. prices well above global levels to the great detriment of the large manufacturing and construction sectors in America that use steel to make higher-value products.
Read the full perspective at weny.com.