Inexpensive imports inundating the U.S. consumer market have become a target for the Trump administration. The Commerce Department has been given the task of identifying imported products where U.S. producers and manufacturers may experience unfair trade characteristics.
The imposition of a tax on aluminum foil imports from China is an initial starting point for additional tariffs and taxes eventually imposed on other, more critical aluminum products. Imports of aluminum foil from China were an estimated $389 million in 2016, according to Commerce Department data. The tax, considered a punitive import tariff, will levy a duty of 16.5% to 81% on all imported aluminum foil products from China. China is currently world’s largest aluminum producer.
Due to concerns by U.S. manufacturers, the administration has launched a probe into steel and other metals exported by China. As one of the largest manufacturers of steel and metal products worldwide, China produces more than it consumes, thus exporting the remainder.
Steel and other metal manufacturers in the Unites States claim that China’s excess capacity is being dumped onto the U.S. market. Dumping is a trade tactic where countries and companies price their exports at a lower price than domestic manufacturers, thus threatening their financial livelihood and stability.
Aluminum has become a focus metal because of its use in aerospace and defense, thus posing a possible threat to national security because of its use by the U.S. military.
Sources: U.S. Commerce Department