President Trump will ultimately have to decide between two tariff options on steel, according to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. There's also an option for 23.6% tariffs on aluminum imports from China, Hong Kong, Russia, Venezuela, and Vietnam, with quotas for all other countries.
While there is little doubt that steel is necessary for US military superiority, as R Street pointed out in a January policy study by Trade Policy Manager Clark Packard, only 3 percent of steel shipped domestically in 2016 was used for national security or homeland security purposes.
A tariff of at least 53% on 12 countries' imports, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.
The president has until April 19 to decide whether to adopt one of three options, to modify an option or not to act on the 232 recommendations.
Trump is facing resistance to tariffs from lawmakers in his own party.
Stocks of steel and aluminum companies immediately soared.
"On an average month, China produces almost as much steel as the USA does in a year".
Trump met a bipartisan group of United States senators and representatives at the White House last week, signalling he would take at least some action to restrict imports of the two metals.
The recommendations released Friday also include aluminum. The investigation sought to determine whether the imports posed a threat to the country's national security.
During Trump's first year in office, the US trade deficit grew by 12 percent. The American Automotive Policy Council, a Washington-based trade group that represents GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, warned in May that import restrictions would hurt the auto industry and its workers.
The investigations were carried out under a 1962 law authorizing the administration to assess domestic production of material needed for national defense, the domestic industry's capacity to meet those requirements and the "close relation of national economic welfare to USA national security". Trump take action based on the recommendations he receives, or he may opt not to take any action.
Companies can also seek appeals based on USA production of steel and aluminum and specific national security-based considerations. "For example, there is only one remaining United States producer of the high-quality aluminum alloy needed for military aerospace".
The Aluminum Association Friday separately said while Commerce said job loss in the primary aluminum sector was 58% between 2013 and 2016, the total industry saw a slight increase in jobs during that period.
Even beer companies, which use aluminum to make their millions of cans, could be hurt.
An aluminum quota of 86.7% of 2017 exports.