(NBC News) President Trump is ordering the Commerce Department to investigate imported steel and whether current rules are costing America jobs and even threatening National Security.
The President signed the memorandum in the oval office Thursday surrounded by steel executives and union representatives.
He's using a legal tool passed back in 1962 meant to protect U.S. industries deemed vital to national security.
Mr. Trump said imported steel that's priced cheaply to undercut American producers not only hurts employment but makes America dependent on other nations in defense production.
He fended off a question regarding whether China is the target of the investigation.
And the President went off script to blast Canada's trade practices claiming NAFTA favors their dairy producers over those in places like Wisconsin and New York.
Q: How will the affect dealings with China on North Korea?
"This has nothing to do with China. This has to do with world wide, what's happening, the dumping problem is a world wide problem."
"Today I'm directing the Department of Commerce to immediately prioritize the investigation that began yesterday and really long before that.. into foreign steel arriving into our markets and to submit a report on the effects of these foreign steel products on the national security of the United States."
"It's not just pricing, it's not just employment, it also has to do with the national security of our country which people never talk about, I talk about it."
"Maintaining the production of American steel is extremely important to our national security and our defense industrial base. Steel is critical both to our economy and our military."
"This is not an area where we can afford to become dependent on foreign countries. We have product where we actually need foreign countries to be nice to us in order to fight for our people and that's not going to happen any longer believe me."
"Dumping is a tremendous problem in this country. They're dumping vast amounts of steel in our country and they're really hurting not only our country but our companies."
"From now on we're going to stand up for American jobs, workers, their security and for American steel companies and companies generally."
"I was in Wisconsin the other day and I want to end and add by saying that Canada, what they've done to our dairy farm workers is a disgrace. It's a disgrace."
"We're going to have to get to the negotiating table with Canada very very quickly. Again just to tell you, this is another NAFTA disaster and we're not going to continue to let it continue onward."
The President said the action is part of his campaign promise to expand American manufacturing jobs.