The Keystone XL Pipeline will not have to be made with American steel, despite President Trump's memorandum

Trump's promise was to buy American goods. Trump's actions are indicating otherwise

Published March 3, 2017 5:15AM (EST)

The Keystone Oil Pipeline is pictured under construction in North Dakota.            (Reuters)
The Keystone Oil Pipeline is pictured under construction in North Dakota. (Reuters)

President Donald Trump won the election, in part, due to his economic nationalism. But on Thursday, a White House spokeswoman said that one of nation's largest projects, the Keystone XL Pipeline, will not be subject to the presidential memorandum that requires infrastructure to be built with American steel.

The memorandum is explicitly devoted to "the construction of American Pipelines."

"The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation will all relevant executive departments and agencies, shall develop a plan under which all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines, inside the borders of the United States, including portions of pipelines, use materials and equipment produced in the United States," the presidential memorandum read.

The Keystone XL Pipeline apparently does not qualify under this definition.

"The Keystone XL Pipeline is currently in the process of being constructed, so it does not count as a new, retrofitted, repaired or expanded pipeline,"a White House spokeswoman told Politico.

That statement seemed to contradict what Trump told U.S. Steel CEO Mario Longhi in a meeting late February, when he said that the U.S. will "put you heavy into the pipeline business because we approved, as you know, the Keystone Pipeline." Trump implied that TransCanada, the developer of the pipeline, would have to buy steel made in America.

In his speech before a joint session of Congress, Trump mentioned the Keystone Pipline in the same sentence as his presidential memorandum on U.S. steel.

"We have cleared the way for the construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines — thereby creating tens of thousands of jobs — and I've issued a new directive that new American pipelines be made with American steel," Trump said.

By Taylor Link

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Donald Trump Economic Nationalism Keystone Xl Pipeline Presidential Memorandum Steel U.s. Steel