USA grants steel, aluminum relief for some trade partners

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Citing national security concerns, Trump levied tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports at the end of May, a move that U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said was meant to deliver on Trumps's promises to U.S. workers and enterprises.

"Thousands of companies are seeking exemptions worth billions of dollars that affect manufacturing and investment decisions nationwide", the Massachusetts Democrat writes to IG Peggy Gustafson.

Warren's letter pointed to the case of a Russian company, Rusal, whose owner is allegedly part of Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle, that was initially granted an exemption to the aluminum tariffs. On Thursday, August 30, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Individual companies could request to be exempted from the tariffs, with the Commerce Department making the decision on a case-by-case basis. They were instantly met with objections from companies in and out of the US.

"Companies can apply for product exclusions based on insufficient quantity or quality available from USA steel or aluminium producers", the commerce department said.

Meghan and Harry attend charity production of Hamilton
The Duchess of Sussex will be featured alongside other royal family members in a documentary about Queen Elizabeth titled "Queen of the World".

Warren also pointed to media reports which have raised questions about the potential political interference United States steelmakers have had in objecting to exemption requests.

Additional media reports have raised questions about political interference in the exemption process.

Watch United States Steel, AK Steel and Steel Dynamics trade in real-time here. "The Trump Administration likely made this move because USA steelmakers are slowly feeling the pain of rising steel import costs".

Warren asked the Commerce IG to conduct a thorough investigation of the department's process for evaluating tariff exemption requests, including an analysis of the processes and procedures in place to make these decisions, whether Commerce officials are following these policies and procedures, and any credible evidence that tariff exemptions granted by the department have strengthened the national security of the United States.

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