The US Department of Commerce has recommended that President Donald Trump impose steep tariffs on steel imports from India, China and other countries as they could “threaten to impair the national security”, according to the proposals released on Friday.
The commerce department recommended a tariff of at least 53% on all steel products from India, which accounted for 2% of the US’ steel imports in 2017, according to the International Trade Administration of the US department of commerce.
The department recommended global tariff of at least 24% on all steel products and 7% on all aluminium imports.
The recommendations were presented to Trump last after he authorised the probes under a 1962 trade law that has not been invoked since 2001.
He will announce his decision in mid-April.
If these recommendations are accepted and implemented by Trump, it could trigger a trade war if targeted the countries retaliated.
The other 11 countries for the selective hikes were Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.
“I am glad that we were able to provide this analysis and these recommendations to the President,” said commerce secretary Wilbur Ross in a statement. “I look forward to his decision on any potential course of action.”
The department insisted that the recommendations are “currently under consideration by the President, and no final decisions have been made”.
Some US lawmakers and steel and aluminium users have urged caution in any restrictions to avoid disruptions or price spikes in the raw materials, used in everything from autos to appliances and aircraft and construction.