WASHINGTON — When Mandel Metals, an aluminum distributor outside Chicago, found its business threatened by President Trump’s tariffs on foreign metals, it filed hundreds of requests with the administration to exclude its imports from the levies.
Again and again, the administration said yes, allowing Mandel to import — if it wanted to — up to 600 million pounds of tariff-free aluminum from Greece, Italy, France, Norway and, perhaps most surprising, China.
Mr. Trump imposed sweeping tariffs on steel and aluminum to prevent China and other countries from flooding the American market with cheap metals, which he said posed a national security threat by “degrading” the industrial base. But his administration has granted nearly 3,000 requests that could exempt Chinese-made metal products from the tariffs, according to a congressional analysis shared with The New York Times.
Since March, when the tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum went into effect, the Commerce Department has approved a higher share of exclusion requests that include imports from China than it has from American allies like Japan and Canada.
Contact Person: Mr. Olen Yu
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