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Turkey steel, aluminum tariff-hike documents to be prepared: White House

New York — Elaborating on President Donald Trump's tweet Friday, the White House said documents will be prepared to boost tariffs on steel and aluminum from Turkey.

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"As he stated, the President has authorized the preparation of documents to raise tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Turkey," the White House told pool reporters, according to the statement shared with S&P Global Platts. "Section 232 tariffs are imposed on imports from particular countries whose exports threaten to impair national security as defined in Section 232, independent of negotiations on trade or any other matter."

Related story: Trump's Turkey tariffs hike expected to hit Kinder Morgan gas pipeline project

In his morning tweet, Trump said: "I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!"

The two statements indicate the doubled tariffs are not yet in place -- but the groundwork is underway.

A doubling of steel and aluminum tariffs on imports of the metals from Turkey, affect steel trade flows more than aluminum.

Through May of this year, US imports of all types of steel from Turkey totaled 514,577 mt, down from 1,035,943 mt through May a year ago -- already a 50% decline, based on US Commerce Department Bureau of the Census data. Turkey ranks seventh among all countries in steel exports to the US market.

It is not a major exporter of aluminum to the US.

--Joe Innace, joseph.innace@spglobal.com

--Edited by Richard Rubin, richard.rubin@spglobal.com