Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Economist: Trump's tariffs 'would be bad for Americans'

Economist: Trump's tariffs 'would be bad for Americans'

President Donald Trump has signed an order imposing sweeping new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, despite an worldwide outcry and warnings it could begin a trade war.

The move will indeed create an aluminum producer in Kentucky has already announced plans to recall 300 workers and a steel plant in IL will bring back about 500 employees.

Canadian Press reported that Canadian steel and aluminum exports have been exempted from stiff American tariffs, pending the outcome of the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations.

"The US and European Union could agree to work more closely to target Chinese overcapacity in steel", said Renison.

"The steel crisis cost our industry thousands of jobs and the last thing we need now is a global trade war".

Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin played down threats of retaliation on Friday after President Trump's steep steel and aluminum tariffs rattled aliies and rivals alike.

Mr. Mnuchin spoke at a House appropriations subcommittee hearing on the Treasury Department's 2019 budget.

In two weeks, new tariffs will be imposed on foreign steel and aluminum coming into the United States.

"We fully understand the desire to take action against nations whose unfair trade practices have led to global overcapacities in steel and aluminum, and encourage the administration to adopt a targeted approach", Blunt said.

A White House spokesman didn't immediately return an email seeking comment after Trump's tweet Thursday.

The people briefed on the plans say all countries affected by the tariffs are being invited to negotiate for exemptions, if they can address the threat their exports pose to the U.S.

Many observers take a dimmer view of the six-month-old talks, saying little progress has been made and the negotiations are stalled over issues such as autos.

Trump appears resolute in implementing the tariffs but has given himself flexibility in drafting the final order.

The spokesperson also said the WTO has fielded some informal concerns from countries about Trump's tariffs, but no formal complaint.

Needless to say, Canadian officials didn't greet the tariff news warmly. While business experts and American lawmakers speculate that the move was meant mostly to disadvantage China, it has enraged key USA allies like the European Union and Canada (the U.S.'s largest supplier of both materials).

Prior to Trump's announcement, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed confidence of a tariff exemption for Canada, due, he said, to persistent pressure from the Canadian government on the Trump administration, including a personal phone call to the president that week.

Like Romig, Czachor said he, too, was already seeing price changes before Trump signed the tariff order on Thursday.

Ford last week also predicted that the tariffs "could result in an increase in domestic commodity prices - harming the competitiveness of American manufacturers".

Negotiators from the U.S., Canada and Mexico wrapped up the seventh round of Nafta talks this week in Mexico still hoping for a breakthrough on the biggest sticking points.

The Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and the panel's trade subcommittee chairman, David Reichert, R-Wash., have jointly drafted a letter to the President of the United States voicing concerns over the impacts of the new tariff regiment being proposed.

While Trump has been a big backer of the USA coal industry, it is possible that his new tariffs could backfire, hurting US coal exports while boosting those from China.

Newly enacted USA tariffs on aluminum and steel imports have sparked a sharp reaction from around the globe, with several nations warning of an all-out trade war.

Two dozen conservative groups, including the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and the National Taxpayers Union, urged Trump to reconsider, writing in a letter that the tariffs would be "a tax on the middle class with everything from cars to baseball bats to even beer".

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