White House unveils trade plan to boost ‘green’ steel

By Brian Dabbs | 04/17/2024 06:34 AM EDT

Steel is one of the most carbon-intensive industries, producing roughly 8 percent of energy sector emissions annually.

A steel worker is pictured.

Steel being loaded onto a truck at a plant in Portage, Indiana. Scott Olson/Getty Images

The White House is calling for a large increase in tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum as part of a push for low-carbon manufacturing.

President Joe Biden is set to make the announcement at the U.S. Steelworkers headquarters in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. The proposed import penalties — which are part of an ongoing U.S. Trade Representative review — aim to boost American steel and aluminum while the Biden administration pours money into decarbonizing the industry.

Last month, the Department of Energy announced $1.5 billion for major “green” steel projects in the U.S., including a near-zero emissions project by the European firm SSAB and another by U.S. producer Cleveland-Cliffs. Another several hundred million dollars of the money announced last month is going to aluminum projects.


“Chinese’s policy-drive overcapacity poses a serious risk to the future of the American steel and aluminum industry,” White House economic adviser Lael Brainard said Tuesday on a call with reporters previewing the plan. “China’s subsidies and other forms of support lead to exports flooding global markets at artificially low prices undercutting American steel that is cleaner.”