Federal regulators have criticized the Trump administration for its handling of import taxes on imported steel and aluminium, saying a lack of transparency would have a "inappropriate impact".
At the same time, the Inspector General of the United States Department of Commerce questioned the process of allowing steel and aluminum importers to ask for exemption from tariffs imposed in March 2018.
Business officials have discussed the requirements with "interested parties" and acted on the basis of the dialogue, the report said. However, it said the exchanges were not mentioned in the official records, indicating that "the review process is opaque and no decisions have been made on the basis of the evidence contained in the records."
Trump had previously pledged during his presidential campaign to protect traditional American industries such as steel and aluminum from foreign competition, which he said was unfair. Last year he announced tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum on trade policy.
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