Wilbur Ross Schools Michael Bennet on Trump Admin’s Plan To Counter China’s Steel Dumping

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross arrives at a State Dinner at the Great Hall of the People, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Beijing, China. Trump is on a five country trip through Asia traveling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Testifying before the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross explained to Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) exactly why the Trump administration’s plan to hold China accountable for dumping steel globally requires applying sanctions to allies such as Canada.

A partial transcript follows:

SEN. MICHAEL BENNETT: “What is the national security rationale for putting a tariff on the Canadian steel industry, with whom we have a trade surplus?”

SEC. WILBUR ROSS: “If you would let me finish the answer –”

SEN. MICHEAL BENNETT: “I will.”

SEC. WILBUR ROSS: “I’d be happy to do so. The reason the tariff is being put on essentially all countries, most of whom are friendly countries and have good relations with us, and some others of which also have surpluses with us, the reason it has to be a global solution is if you just looked at the raw data you wouldn’t think China is a problem for the U.S. Because what they’ve been doing is masking their exports to us by shipping them through other countries. So the raw data, if you just believe the raw numbers, China’s shipping less to us than they did five years ago. The reality is quite to the contrary. They are disrupting the global steel markets, they are causing both direct and indirect damage to it. So we have to do it on a global basis. The–”

SEN. MICHAEL BENNETT: “I, I–”

SEC.WILBUR ROSS: “I’m not quite finished, sir.”

SEN. MICHAEL BENNETT: “I’m sorry.”

SEC. WILBUR ROSS: “The good news that, as a direct result of the 232’s, suddenly Europe is enacting safeguards against steel dumping into Europe. They didn’t do much before. Canada is taking action. Japan, for the first time, has created an enforcement body within METI to deal with the problem. The only way we’re gonna solve the global steel overproduction and overcapacity is by getting all the other countries to play ball with us, and while they’re complaining bitterly about the tariffs, the fact is they’re starting to take the kind of action, which, if they had taken sooner, would have prevented this crisis.”

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