Trump commits to hard protectionism | tutor2u Economics

It has been a while coming but we now appear to be on the verge of the Trump administration making a decisive move towards a protectionist stance with the imposition of high tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium.

US-China tariffs in numbers

This will be an important issue for students to keep on top of, not least the potential for retaliatory action by China and the European Union. How might UK steel manufacturers be affected? The USA will impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% tariff on aluminum but it is unclear whether some allies of the US will be given exemption from the import barriers. Mexico has already threatened retaliation.

The Wall Street Journal did not hold back in their criticism of the Trump announcement:

Mr. Trump seems not to understand that steel-using industries in the U.S. employ some 6.5 million Americans, while steel makers employ about 140,000. Transportation industries, including aircraft and autos, account for about 40% of domestic steel consumption, followed by packaging with 20% and building construction with 15%. All will have to pay higher prices, making them less competitive globally and in the U.S.

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