Trump's Tariffs Are A Go 🔩


American metals first

Yesterday, Trump signed off on plans to enact import tariffs of 25% for foreign steel and 10% for foreign aluminum (Canada and Mexico are exempt). Trump says the tariffs will strengthen local manufacturers, ensure jobs and send a message to countries like China, which he believes have unfair trading practices with the U.S.

In the name of national security

107 House Republicans wrote to Trump, urging him not to impose any tariffs. Fortunately, for Trump, he doesn't need Congressional approval to impose tariffs, if they are for national security reasons. Technical win.

The right spin the tariffs as a win for "nationalism". In their eyes, the tariffs are "defending" American metal industries. They say the Republicans who opposed the tariffs are not true conservatives. The right also notes that flexibility has been built into the tariffs. They can be adjusted up or down for countries that apply for exemptions and prove that they won't hurt U.S. security interests.

The left spin the tariffs as a terrible idea that will start a "trade war". No one like war right? They also focus on bringing attention to the fact that many within this own party strongly disagree with this move. The left believes these tariffs will result in other countries imposing tariffs on U.S. goods - ultimately causing a "trade war" that will hurt all parties involved. Macro Econ 101 anyone?

Will this start a trade war?

China accounts for nearly 50% of global steel production. The next highest producer is the EU with 10% - the U.S. is at 5%. While China is the largest global producer, Canada is actually the biggest steel exporter to the US (followed by South Korea, Mexico, Brazil and then China). These tariffs won't impact China a great deal, but they will piss off countries generally. Trump is betting that the global economic strength of the U.S. will prevent a trade war and force other countries to get in line if they want to keep trading with the world's largest economy. 


Trump: Did someone say 'war'?

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