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Trump Starts Probe Into Aluminum That China Calls Protectionist

(Joe Deaux & and Andrew Mayeda – Bloomberg)

The Trump administration, invoking powers the U.S. hasn’t used in more than a quarter century, began a probe into Chinese aluminum imports that could lead to tariffs.

The Commerce Department is taking the unusual step of initiating the case itself, rather than going through the regular route of starting an investigation based on petitions filed by U.S. companies. Shares in Alcoa Corp. and Century Aluminum Co. jumped on Tuesday.

The investigation covers imports in common alloy sheet, which totaled more than $600 million last year, and was initiated using authority granted by the Tariff Act of 1930, the Commerce Department said Tuesday in a statement. China responded Wednesday by saying the move was “rare in the history of international trade.” Click here to read more.

Related: Commerce Department Press Release