Jackie Walorski

Flood of U.S. companies seek relief on tariffs

President Donald Trump is ready to escalate his trade war with China by imposing tariffs on almost all Chinese goods shipped to the United States. But his administration is still struggling to manage a pair of smaller trade actions announced more than three months ago, casting doubt on the president's ability to wage a broader conflict.

At the Commerce Department, officials have been overwhelmed with pleas from U.S. companies for waivers from levies on foreign steel and aluminum that the president introduced in March.

Only last week did the department begin training the roughly 30 evaluators who must review 21,000 petitions from U.S. companies that want to continue importing...