Kevin Wolf Quoted in POLITICO on Possible Curb on Steel Imports

Akin Gump international trade partner Kevin Wolf has been quoted in POLITICO’s “Morning Trade” column, which reports on calls for the Trump administration to take unilateral action to curb steel imports under Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act.

The article reports that Wolf, when he was a Commerce Department official in charge of the Bureau of Industry and Security three years ago, was asked whether he could do anything to help the U.S. steel industry at the time. The first thing that came to mind, and which was under his bureau’s jurisdiction, he said, was a Section 232 investigation.

“In the end, we concluded it would be more harmful than helpful,” Wolf said. Blocking Chinese steel with tariffs would not prevent other underpriced steel imports from coming in to the United States, he noted. Additionally, worldwide steel import restrictions could have a destabilizing effect on the hundreds of thousands of workers in industries that rely on imported steel.

Wolf added that he found no clear national security rationale for possible tariffs to restrict steel imports from China or other countries. “We didn’t reach the national security threshold because there wasn’t a shortage of steel at the Defense Department,” he said.