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Tariffs on imported steel and aluminum

Yesterday, President Trump announced that he would impose a 25% import tax on steel and a 10% import tax on aluminum.

Trump says it’s about national security

These tariffs will make imported steel and aluminum more expensive than American-made equivalents for buyers in the U.S. American steel and aluminum companies will sell more after this tariff is enacted. Trump argues that the U.S. needs strong domestic manufacturers to supply our military if a war breaks out.

Winners and losers

While American steel and aluminum companies (many within Trump’s base) will likely benefit from the tariff, consumers could suffer. The price of steel and aluminum could rise, making everything from cans of beer to cars more expensive.

The pro-tariff side outlines unfair trade practices in other countries that necessitate these tariffs. They argue that China has been selling subsidized steel and aluminum for decades, depressing global prices and making American firms uncompetitive. Trump was clear during his campaign: he would retaliate to protect American workers. That’s what he’s doing here, they say.

The anti-tariff side argues that consumers will see higher prices for end products and U.S. firms that use steel and aluminum will see profitability suffer. Worse, they argue, these tariffs could set off retaliation from other countries, who could impose tariffs on American products abroad.

Will these tariffs have a positive or negative effect

No one denies that China manipulates the price of its steel and aluminum. Trump has a point there. But a global trade war would be a calamity: American companies would suffer, and prices would rise for many products.

Did someone say Steel?



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