- The Washington Times - Monday, January 27, 2020

The U.S. imported substantially less steel in 2019 as President Trump’s tariffs on a wide range of foreign countries worked their way through the market, according to a new industry report released Monday.

The American Iron and Steel Institute reported finished steel imports dropped 17 percent from 2018 to 2019. The amount of U.S. steel imports is the lowest it has been since 2010, when the American economy was still digging its way out of the Great Recession.

The AISI survey found marked decreases in steel bought from a number of countries, including South Korea, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Vietnam. All imports from these locations dropped between 7 and 40 percent when compared to import data from December 2018.

President Donald Trump signed a proclamation increasing tariffs on derivative steel and derivative aluminum products Friday, saying the foreign companies were finding ways to circumvent some of the current tariffs and U.S. producers needed additional time to stabilize their markets.. The proclamation will increase derivative steel tariffs by 25 percent and derivative aluminum tariffs by 10 percent.

Mr. Trump has angered some foreign suppliers by justifying the imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs on the grounds of protecting U.S. national security.

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