Schumer Announces Hold on Two Department of Commerce Nominees Over the Trump Administration’s Stalled Action on Steel & Aluminum Imports

October 27, 2017

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today released the following statement in response to the Administration’s stalled action on steel and aluminum imports:

“President Trump repeatedly promised to champion fair trade policies and crack down on predatory trade practices from countries like China that massively subsidize their steel and aluminum products and hurt American workers. So, many Democrats in Congress and I welcomed the administration’s announcement of Section 232 national security investigations for steel and aluminum earlier this year as an important first step. Unfortunately, when it comes to being tough on China to level the playing field for American steel and aluminum workers, it’s clear President Trump has been nothing more than a paper tiger.

“Specifically, I am deeply frustrated by Secretary Ross’s perpetual foot dragging on this critical investigation, and I was shocked by his recent nonsensical excuse that the Department of Commerce is waiting until after the unrelated Republican tax plan passes to complete these investigations. The steel industry has seen a surge of imports since the announcement of these investigations that has already cost jobs.

“To this end, I will be placing a hold on the Senate floor on two top pending Commerce Department nominees – Gil Kaplan for Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade and Nazakhtar Nikakhtar for Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Industry and Analysis – until the Commerce Department provides a satisfactory and meaningful response on the progress of the Sec. 232 investigations.

“I hold these nominees reluctantly, as they could be an assets to the Commerce Department, but this situation is dire and this administration must be sent a clear message that action, not rhetoric, is needed immediately.”