(Adds details on recent comments by Trump on Keystone XL)
March 3 The Keystone XL oil pipeline does not
need to be made from U.S. steel, despite an executive order by
President Donald Trump days after he took office requiring
domestic steel in new pipelines, the White House said on Friday.
"It's specific to new pipelines or those that are being
repaired," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters
on Air Force One, when asked about a report by Politico that
Keystone would not need to use U.S. steel, despite Trump's order
issued on Jan. 24.
"Since this one is already currently under construction, the
steel is already literally sitting there, it's hard to go back.
Everything moving forward would fall under that executive
order," Sanders said. The southern leg of Keystone is completed
and started pumping oil in 2013. Some pipe segments that could
be used for Keystone XL, which would bring oil from Alberta,
Canada to Nebraska, have already been built.
Former Democratic president Barack Obama rejected TranCanada
Corp's multibillion-dollar pipeline, saying it would
not benefit U.S. drivers and would contribute emissions linked
to global warming.
Trump's order expedited the path forward for TransCanada to
reapply to build Keystone XL.
In weeks after issuing the order, Trump said in speeches and
in meetings, including one with manufacturing CEOs, that
Keystone would be required to use U.S. steel. In a speech this
week to a joint session of Congress, Trump softened that stance
saying new pipelines would have to be made with it.
Economists told Reuters days after Trump issued the order
that the steel requirement had many loopholes, would not be
easily enforceable, and could violate international trade law.
Even if there were no loopholes, U.S. steelmakers would
receive negligible benefit from Keystone XL, because they have
limited ability to meet the stringent requirements for the
The office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it
welcomes the allowance of non-U.S. steel, calling it a
"recognition that the integrated Canadian and U.S. steel
industries are mutually beneficial."
TransCanada said it was encouraged by the White House
statement on non-U.S. steel and that its presidential permit
application on Keystone was making its way through the approval
Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said on
Twitter that allowing non-U.S. steel was "important for
companies like Evraz Steel," a local subsidiary of Russia's
Evraz PLC, which had signed on to provide 24 percent of the
steel before Keystone XL's rejection by Obama.
(Reporting by Melissa Fares on Air Force One, Ethan Lou in
Calgary and Timothy Gardner in Washington; Editing by Chizu
Nomiyama and David Gregorio)