Final decision on steel trade policy may have to wait, Trump tells WSJ

U.S. President Donald Trump attends a press conference accompanied by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri (not pictured) in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

(Reuters) - A final decision on a steel trade policy may have to wait until other top-priority issues on his agenda get addressed, U.S. President Donald Trump told the Wall Street Journal in an interview on Tuesday.

The administration would take time in making a decision on whether to block steel imports, Trump told the Journal, adding that "we don't want to do it at this moment".

Trump had previously initiated a ‘Section 232’ review of the U.S. steel industry that allows for the imposition of tariffs or quotas on imports if they are found to threaten national security.

The law, which has been used twice before - to investigate oil in 1999 and iron and steel in 2001 - allows the president to impose restrictions on imports for reasons of national security.

“We’re going to be addressing the steel dumping,” Trump told the Journal, calling it “a very unfair situation”.

Trump told the Journal his administration was “waiting till we get everything finished up between healthcare and taxes and maybe even infrastructure” for a decision on steel trade policy.

Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila