Are The President's Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Good for America?

Frederick Owens
March 12, 2018

Despite this fact, the USA president frequently says that Canada is taking advantage of the US and that the Americans are the ones with the deficit. The second option placed a 53 percent steel tariff on a select group of countries (Brazil, South Korea, Russia, Turkey, India, Vietnam, China, Thailand, South Africa, Egypt, Malaysia, and Costa Rica), which includes essentially all the major exporters of steel and aluminum except for Canada and Mexico.

And Warner questioned whether tariffs will resurrect the US steel industry the way Trump is boasting they will.

Trump kept Canada and Mexico as potential tariff targets because that served USA interests in winning concessions in ongoing NAFTA negotiations.

The statement doubled-down on similar comments earlier on Thursday that Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo made prior to Trump's announcement.

U.S. steel stocks, which have gained for weeks on anticipation of the tariffs, fell after the announcement, with the Standard and Poor's composite steel index ending down 2.53% against a half percent gain in the broad S&P 500 index. The Canadian dollar and Mexican peso gained slightly against the US dollar.

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"Thanks to these actions, we reoriented our imports of steel to North America, showing that it is possible to address this problem and to comply with our global commitments within the framework of the World Trade Organization", the government said. She said Canada would push "until the prospect of these duties is fully and permanently lifted", and said it would be inconceivable to apply tariffs to a close military ally like Canada on national security grounds.

Mexico recognizes the problem of global steel oversupply and will keep seeking solutions, but NAFTA talks shouldn't be subject to other domestic USA policies, the country's Economy Ministry said in a statement. "I will seek more clarity on this issue in the days to come".

In October 2017, Mexico extended, for the fourth time, a 15% tariff imposed on imports of slab, hot-rolled coil, heavy plate, cold-rolled coil and wire rod to protect the domestic steel sector.

Our national security is only as strong as American steel. Harley-Davidson Inc motorcycles have also been mentioned, targeting Republican US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan's home state of Wisconsin.

Trump, who won the White House after a career in real estate and reality TV, has long touted economic nationalism, promising to bring back jobs to the United States and save the country from trade deals he views as unfair.

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