Executive Orders Take Over the Week in Metals

pipeline Roger Asbury/Adobe Stock

President Donald Trump issued executive orders early this week to restart the stalled Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines on Monday — and he was just getting started.

What’ll Those Pipelines Be Made of? American-Made Steel!

Trump also wrote a memorandum that will require all the steel to be used in those pipelines to be American-made. The definition sounds even more stringent than the existing provisions of the Buy American Act. It’s still just a memo, but it could translate into a stiff federal procurement policy.

What Else Should We Build? A Wall?

Trump wrote another executive order to build a border wall separating the U.S. from Mexico. A 20% import tax will supposedly pay for the construction, which could cost as much as $8 million a mile ($4 million for the land and $4 million for the actual wall infrastructure). The ink isn’t even dry on the executive order yet.

 Guess Who Else is Protecting Domestic Steel? India

India has a minimum import price for foreign steel. Guess who has a problem with that? Japan. Well, Japan didn’t when the policy started a year ago, but now that Trump’s in office and a similar tax could be placed on imports into the lucrative U.S. market? Yeah, Japan wants the World Trade Organization to have a look at that awful MIP!

Speaking of Free Trade, Remember TPP? It’s Dead

Really, REALLY dead this time. Trump pulled the U.S. out of it. He reserves the right to do the same with signed trade agreements such as NAFTA. Bye, bye TPP.

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