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Trump to get a range of options to curb steel imports - senators

Reuters  |  WASHINGTON 

By David Lawder

(Reuters) - U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday he will present to President Donald Trump a range of options to restrict on national security grounds, according to who with Ross.

Senator Sherrod Brown said that Ross "pretty much committed" to announcing these options next week as part of Commerce's review of whether are threatening U.S. national security under a 1962 law.

But Ross, speaking to reporters following a closed-door meeting with Senate Finance Committee members, declined to put a time frame on the review's release.

"It'll come out when it's ready to come out," he said.

The 79-year-old former industry magnate said he spoke to about the broad outlines of the "Section 232" probe, including its legal basis and objectives, "the potential tools for accomplishing those objectives, what are the risks involved in the process."

Ross did not provide any details on specific recommendations to Trump, saying the purpose of the meeting was to provide "with some background within which they can judge their reaction to the report when it comes out."

Trump told reporters on his flight to France that he was considering both tariffs and quotas to stop foreign countries from dumping into the U.S. market and "destroying" the U.S. industry. The release of his remarks sent stocks soaring on Thursday.

"The options are everything," said Brown, a Democrat from a major steel-producing state. "I pushed him to move quickly on this. I want it to be strong. I want it to be long lasting, and I want it to address the overhanging issue of Chinese overcapacity."

While steelmakers and workers argue that protections are needed to put the industry on a healthy footing, users say that import curbs would raise prices, putting them at a disadvantage to foreign competitors.

Senator Ron Wyden, the Finance Committee's top Democrat, said some members tried to convey to Ross that using the Cold War-era law to restrict of on defence grounds was "not an enduring solution" to the production glut.

"The secretary feels confident that his approach is going to make all sides happy in the industry," Wyden said.

In 2001, Commerce investigated the national security impact of iron ore and semifinished but recommended no action.

(Additional reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by David Alexander and Cynthia Osterman)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, July 14 2017. 05:02 IST
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