The Trump administration began an investigation of steel importsas U.S. Steel Corp. asked a trade agency to investigate its claimsthat rival Chinese manufacturers colluded to fix prices andundercut American competitors.

President Donald Trump signed a memorandum Thursday encouragingthe Commerce Department probe, which had already started and willexplore whether steel imports hinder national security undersection 232 of the Trade Expansion Act.

In an Oval Office ceremony, Trump declared the opening of theCommerce Department investigation ”a historic day for Americansteel and most importantly for American steel workers.”

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