Trump Tariffs-Steel Industry story

President Trump signs the tariffs into law watched on by steel workers

President Trump signs the tariffs into law watched on by steel workers

Lou Totilas suggestd in his March 12 Public Pulse letter ("Hand forced on tariffs"), contrary to all facts, that President Donald Trump's recently proposed trade tariffs were necessary to prevent China from having the ability "to cripple our defense industries". The same firm looked at Trump's proposal and concluded: "More than five jobs would be lost for every one gained". There is no free trade, but the US imposes fewer tariffs than nearly any other country. After initially suggesting there'd be no exceptions, Trump promised to be "very flexible" and initially exempted Mexico and Canada from the duties, which are set to go into effect in 15 days. That's set off a race for USA allies to plead for special treatment, while China has warned of "strong" measures to protect its interests. If other countries follow through on their rhetoric, US exporters may face restrictions on their market access overseas. Barclays Plc has estimated as much as a 0.2 percentage point impact.

Trump and his trade officials have signalled in the past they are looking for more access to Canada's dairy market within a renegotiated NAFTA deal. Why should the economic well-being of a few come at the expense of the many?

Earlier on Monday, Finance Minister Henrique Mereilles said Brazil's government had not made a decision yet on how to respond to the tariffs and needed to see what exactly the United States wanted in negotiations. [1] Commerce initiated Section 232 investigations of steel (primarily, flat, long, pipe and tube, semi-finished, and stainless) and aluminum imports in April 2017, and duly reported its findings on January 11, 2018. With the possibility of an exemption in mind, South Korean trade authorities will once again stress that Korean companies' investment in the US can contribute to the American economy and that Korean steel exports do not affect the U.S.' security and economy negatively.

Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told the European Union legislature on Wednesday that while the 28-nation European Union would continue to seek exemption from the US measure that could kick in next week, it will prepare countermeasures to hit USA exports. Or jack up the tariffs even higher on the countries that still must pay them. Indeed, most European Union countries are in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the world's biggest security alliance, together with the U.S. Although the majority of what they use is produced locally - the United States steel industry supplied about 70 percent of the domestic market in 2017 - a tax on imports will allow American metal producers to charge more to companies like Boeing, General Motors and Whirlpool. "But we are not afraid, we will stand up to the bullies".

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That would spook stock markets, but Scissors said that the more serious the conflict became, the worse China's position would become, due to the importance of its U.S. trade surplus.

A full-blown trade war could cost the global economy $470 billion, an analysis by Bloomberg Economics found.

What happens to global growth if there's a trade war?

Still, despite steel's political advantages, tariffs are still a large gamble for Trump. To put that into perspective, that's about $470 billion - roughly the size of Thailand's output.

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The U.S. economy grew 2.3 percent a year ago, an improvement on 1.5 percent growth in 2016. Yet most trade spats end up without that kind of damage, and most in the survey were hopeful. By the start of this year, USA steelmakers employed just 143,000.

For one thing, Vertical notes that the list of countries and products being exempted from the tariffs is "growing".

After a huge construction boom at the start of the millennium boosted its steel industry, China's recent economic downturn prompted it to export its overcapacity in steel at artificially low prices.

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