Full Replay: President Trump Hosts a Meeting with Members of Congress on Trade


President Trump invited a bipartisan group of senators to the White House Tuesday to share their views on the issue of steel and aluminum imports and how they affect national security.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Last year I directed the secretary of commerce to investigate whether steel and aluminum imports are threatening to impair U.S. national security. You see what's happened with our steel and aluminum industries. They're being decimated by dumping, and -- from many countries, in particular one, but many countries. They're dumping and destroying our industry, and destroying the families of workers, and we can't let that happen.

Secretary Ross submitted the results of the investigations to me last month. My administration is now reviewing the reports and considering all options.

And part of the options would be tariffs coming in. As they dump steel, they pay tariffs, substantial tariffs, which means the United States would actually make a lot of money, and probably our steel industry and our aluminum industry would come back into our country. Right now it's decimated. It'll make a decision, and I will make a decision that reflects the best interests of the United States, including the need to address overproduction in China and other countries. You have countries that are so overproducing, and what they're doing is they're dumping it on us. And you look at empty factories, steel factories, it's -- and plants, and it's a very sad thing to look at. I've been watching -- I've looking at them for two years as I went around campaigning. No matter where you go, you look at them and see what happened to U.S. Steel and these other companies. They were the giants, and now they're hanging on for their life.

I look forward to hearing your views, and I'd like to have some of you speak, and you have very strong -- I know, Roy, you do, and we all do, probably, have pretty strong views on this.

I look at it two ways: I want to keep prices down, but I also want to make sure that we have a steel industry and an aluminum industry, and we do need that for national defense. If we ever have a conflict, we don't want to be buying the steel from a country that we're fighting, because somehow that doesn't work very well. But we hopefully won't have any conflicts, but we still have to consider that, and we have to look at the national defense. We have to look at the steel industry.

We cannot be without a steel industry, we can't be without an aluminum industry, and so what we're talking about is tariffs and/or quotas.

And I think maybe, Roy, would you like to start? We've discussed this over the past. Do you have any suggestions?

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