Commerce Dept. recommended tariffs to protect national security.
President Donald Trump campaigned “to protect the U.S. from what he has said are unfair trade practices.” It looks like he has tried to keep that promise since he announced during a meeting with steel executives that the U.S. will impose 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% on aluminum.
We do not know yet if it will affect all countries or just ones like China, who has sent a lot of cheap metals to the states.
In February, the Commerce Department recommended that he impose these tariffs on China and others “to protect U.S. national security.” The Washington Examiner continued:
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the surge of foreign metal imports has created a national security risk and left the American manufacturing community struggling.
”Excessive steel imports have adversely impacted the steel industry,” he wrote Friday. “Numerous U.S. steel mill closures, a substantial decline in employment, lost domestic sales and market share, and marginal annual net income for U.S.-based steel companies illustrate the decline of the U.S. steel industry.”
A report put out three options:
One is an across-the-board tariff of 24 percent on imports from all countries to the U.S., and another is a 53 percent tariff on imported steel from China, Brazil, South Korea, Vietnam, and India, among other countries. A third option is to impose a global quota that would limit countries to shipping 63 percent of the steel they shipped to the U.S. in 2017.
Trump hinted this move could come today with this tweet this morning:
Our Steel and Aluminum industries (and many others) have been decimated by decades of unfair trade and bad policy with countries from around the world. We must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer. We want free, fair and SMART TRADE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2018
Since the report suggested a tariff of 24% on imports from all countries it looks like he went with the first option.
John Lapides, president of United Aluminum Corp, said at the meeting that the companies as a whole currently have a situation “where competing unfairly has meant capital depletion in our business” and that they “need a level playing field.” Trump said:
“We’ll be signing it next week. And you’ll have protection for a long time in a while,” Trump told U.S. steel and aluminum executives during a meeting at the White House on Thursday. “You’ll have to regrow your industries, that’s all I’m asking.”
Trump has long complained that other countries cheat when it comes to trade, while the U.S. plays by the rules.
“People have no idea how badly our country has been treated by other countries,” Trump said.
He called all of this “disgraceful” and mentioned that “you almost don’t have much of a country” when the “country can’t make aluminum and steel.”
But this could come back and bite us. China and others may retaliate and impose their own tariffs. It could also drive up prices, which could end up hurting our companies that purchase and use those materials.DONATE
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