Trump Announces “Steep Tariffs” On Aluminum And Steel, Begins Next Week

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President Donald Trump today announced his plans to impose steep tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum at a meeting Thursday.

The news sent the stock market tumbling and left many GOP senators suprised by the move. Some senators even questioning if there was a better way to address the steel industries concerns.

.@POTUS: “It’ll be 25% for steel. It’ll 10% for aluminum and it’ll be for a long period of time.”

The order that is currently being drafted implements a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent duty on aluminum, Fox Business reported.

“What’s been allowed to go on for decades is disgraceful,” he said, according to The Daily Caller. “And when it comes to a time when our country can’t make aluminum and steel, and somebody said it before and I will tell you, you almost don’t have much of a country. Because without steel and aluminum, your country is not the same. We need it. We need it even for defense, if you think, we need it for defense.”
“We need great steelmakers. Great aluminum makers for defense. So, we will probably see you sometime next week. We will be signing it in,” he continued. “You have protection for the first time in a long while and you are going to regrow your industries. That’s all I’m asking. You have to regrow your industries.”
It is still unclear whether or not the tariffs would make exceptions for certain trading partners, Politico reported.

This announcement comes a few weeks after the U.S. Commerce Department concluded that the volume of imports “threaten to impair” national security after an investigation into steel and aluminum imports.

The department recommended three different options to increase U.S. steel manufacturing capacity: a 24 percent tariff on steel imports from all countries, a 53 percent tariff on 12 countries including China, India and Brazil or “a quote on steel imports from all countries equal to 63 percent of each country’s exports to the U.S,” according to Fox Business.

The new tariffs could have unintended consequences for global trade, for example, it “has the potential to ignite a tit-for-tat trade confrontation with China, the European Union and other major players in world trade,” according to Politico.

Industries, like agriculture, also fear that their own trading partners could retaliate against the tariffs.

Steel stocks were trading higher after the news, while U.S. manufacturing giants were down “on fears that new tariffs will raise their costs and thus hurt their profits.”

Dow plunges after Trump says tariffs are coming next week 

Steel stocks including AK Steel and U.S. Steel rallied after President Donald Trump announced that the administration will implement a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% duty on aluminum.

U.S. manufacturing giants including Caterpillar fell on concern that the new levies will raise their costs and hurt their profits.

Again, no specific timetables were given, but the president is expected to sign the order next week.

President Donald Trump announced Thursday a host of new “punitive” tariffs will be implemented as soon as Monday.

On Feb. 16, the Department of Commerce released a report declaring that “the quantities and circumstances of steel and aluminum imports ‘threaten to impair the national security.’” The report stated, “The President is required to make a decision on the steel recommendations by April 11, 2018, and on the aluminum recommendations by April 19, 2018.” Trump had ordered the department to study steel and aluminum imports in April 2017.

.@realDonaldTrump announces punitive tariffs coming next week on foreign aluminum and steel. 10% on aluminum, 25% on steel – no endpoint being announced

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!

According to Bloomberg, “American steel producers and workers have called on Trump to defend their industry as it grapples with the effects of overcapacity in China.”
Not everyone is happy about the tariffs

USA Today reported that “The American International Automobile Dealers Association said car sales are already flat, and ‘the burden of these tariffs, as always, will be passed on to the American consumer.’”

Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute told USA Today: “These tariffs would undoubtedly raise costs for U.S. businesses that rely heavily on steel and aluminum for the majority of their products — and ultimately consumers.”

Some conservative lawmakers are also unhappy with the announcement. GOP Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.) said he was worried that the tariffs could hurt jobs in his state.

“In our state, we make steel and aluminum but we continue to buy a lot more than we make,” Blunt said. “Things like sheet aluminum that you use to make boats with, we make a lot of boats, it’s not available in the United States.”

Another GOP senator, Ben Sasse, also expressed his frustration at the decision: “The President is proposing a massive tax increase on American families,” Sasse said. “You’d expect a policy this bad from a leftist administration, not a supposedly Republican one.”

Retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) spoke out against tariffs in general: “First of all, I don’t believe in tariffs. They don’t work very well. Secondly, it creates tariff wars and I just don’t think that’s the way to go,” he said.

Time will tell if these new tariffs will ‘Make America Great Again’.
Resources: Western Journalism, Fox News, The Daily Caller, The Blaze
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