President Donald Trump on Thursday called on his commerce secretary to determine the effects of aluminum imports on national security.
In a presidential memorandum, the White House said core industries such as steel, aluminum, vehicles, aircraft, shipbuilding and semiconductors are critical elements of the United States’ manufacturing and defense industrial bases, which the White House said the U.S. must defend against unfair trade practices and other abuses.
The secretary shall consider the domestic production of aluminum needed for projected national defense requirements; the capacity of domestic industries to meet such requirements; the existing and anticipated availability of the human resources, products, raw materials and other supplies and services essential to the national defense.
The secretary shall also consider the requirements of growth of such industries and such supplies and services; including the investment, exploration and development necessary to assure such growth; and the importation of goods in terms of their quantities, availability, character, and use as those affect such industries and the capacity of the U.S. to meet national security requirements.
If the secretary finds that aluminum is being imported into the U.S. in such quantities or under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security, the secretary shall, in the report, recommend actions and steps that should be taken to adjust aluminum imports so that they will not threaten to impair the national security.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer Thursday during a press briefing claimed the U.S. aluminum industry is in trouble, that it declined to the lowest levels of aluminum that the nation has produced since 1952.