The planned tariffs have sparked warnings about retaliation from other countries, including allies like the European Union and Canada, which has prompted fears of a tit-for-tat trade war. Canada, which has the most to lose as the top source of United States steel to the USA market, has called the tariffs "unacceptable".
"I know that there are a lot of ministers from a lot of countries that have been talking with the president, they've been talking with me, they've been talking with others. I blame our leadership for allowing it to happen".
The EU prepared a $3.45 billion list of US goods to be targeted in retaliation - including USA steel and agricultural products like rice, orange juice and cranberries.
In a video statement, Malmstrom said the new USA tariffs are "motivated by internal security".
The U.S. president believes the import duties will help protect American jobs and will boost the U.S. economy.
"They make it nearly impossible for us to do business with them, and yet they send their cars and everything else back into the United States".
"They can do whatever they'd like".
"The European Union has not treated us well". 'And it's been a very, very unfair trade situation.
About 140,000 Americans work in the US steel and aluminum sectors. I'm protecting our companies.
Former president George W. Bush tried steel tariffs back in 2002, though Canada was exempted. Our Steel and Aluminum industries are dead. More than 655,000 tons of aluminum were also imported past year, according to port figures.
"These tariffs are not a tax on foreign steel and aluminum producers, they are a tax on American citizens and business", said Sen.
The move has been roundly condemned by Republicans on Capitol Hill, who argue tariffs will increase prices for everyday American consumers, wipe out economic returns from tax reform and start a trade war.
"They'll like us better and they'll respect us more", he said about U.S. trade partners who object to the plan. By increasing costs for raw materials, those tariffs would also undercut the competitiveness of a broad swath of USA businesses, ironically making them more vulnerable to foreign competition.
'We'll do it in a very loving way. They're already seeking waivers, but his trade adviser says there will be no exemptions. In the immediate aftermath, Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo told local media that he was "seeking urgent clarification" from us officials to see if Australia would be exempt.