Ten retired military leaders have issued a letter to the Trump administration calling for the safeguarding of American steel and aluminum from foreign interests.
The general and flag officers write that the President should use “all available tools” to maintain “a strong and ready domestic manufacturing sector,” including via the Section 232 national security investigations into steel and aluminum imports.
Steel and aluminum are critical to both equipping the military and building critical infrastructure like bridges and the electric grid, the leaders state.
“Make no mistake, having a strong domestic industrial base is critical to our national security,” said Brigadier Gen. John Adams, U.S. Army (Ret.). “If we lose the ability to make our own steel or aluminum, we could find ourselves depending on countries like China or Russia to supply our military and build our infrastructure. That means we’d have to share key intelligence and sensitive military specifications with strategic competitors. We simply cannot let this happen.”
Trump ordered the 232 investigations to determine whether foreign imports from countries like China are intentionally running American steel and aluminum plants out of business and weakening our defense base. Under this 1962 trade law, the president can order an inquiry into whether specific imports are negatively impacting U.S. economic and national security.
If they’re determined to be damaging, the President can order significant safeguarding measures – an action Trump promised to do earlier this year.