NY could be victim of Trump tariffs after European Union retaliation

Dr. Jackie Brux

Although the majority of what they use is produced locally - the USA 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.

The new tariffs, signed into law on Thursday and going into effect about 10 days from now, impose a broad 25% tariff on steel imported from nearly anywhere on the globe (and 10% tariffs on aluminum, too).

It's about NAFTA, they say, arguing that the proposal is just tough talk and a brilliant bargaining tool in the ongoing talks to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump's tariffs, like his hardline NAFTA demands, have the prospective to turn the internationally integrated auto industry upside down.

The article reported that foreign leaders said the tariffs will put their citizens out of work and suggested a trade war will ensue. Mr. Trump began this process last April by launching investigations into the national security implications of steel and aluminum imports.

A third source who had direct knowledge of the administration's thinking said the tariffs, associated with a "Section 301" intellectual property investigation, under the 1974 US Trade Act begun in August past year, could come "in the very near future".

"Without the capacity cutting, there would have been much more production than there is now", said Wang Suzhen, an analyst for Mysteel, a news service that follows the Chinese industry.

President Trump first floated the idea of tariffs earlier this month, tweeting: "We must protect our country and our workers".

President Donald Trump said the tariffs, due to take effect in late March, are needed to protect US workers. They run exactly counter to what would be a sound approach to Chinese mercantilism, as a compelling report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation underscores.

Trump's next negotiating tactic, fight back, appears to sum up his determination with changing trade deals.

Donald Trump proposes 'Space Force' to battle in the stars
He said some people may argue that a space force would "compromise the sanctity of considering space to be off limits from warfare".

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met with European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström over the weekend to establish whether the bloc would be hit by the measures. "That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you're dead".

China created the world's second-largest steelmaker after Europe's ArcelorMittal with the 2016 merger of two state-owned producers, Baosteel Group and Wuhan Iron & Steel.

Trump responded last week with a blanket tariff increase on steel and aluminium, another metal China's trading partners complain it oversupplies. Executives from both U.S. Steel and Nucor, who had flanked Trump at the White House signing ceremony, wasted no time in lauding the tariffs and their authorization.

Now, I'm not advocating for Canada to recklessly get itself involved in a widespread trade war with our neighbour and best customer. Their version stripped out some of the conditions won by US negotiators, such as increased intellectual property protections for pharmaceuticals. They signal to China that not only do we not care about the country's increasing authoritarianism; we encourage it. So Europe can continue with its higher tariffs on US cars, so long as it does the same to Japanese cars.

Right now China isn't even among the top 10 producers of USA steel imports.

The Commission said it expected to be in contact with Washington over the metals tariffs this week, but that no formal talks had been scheduled.

Canada sent troops into the losing Afghan War to persuade the Americans to keep the border open to trade. Standing with Trump are workers, left, Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Yes, America needs steel and aluminum imports.

"If you want to know why the steel industry employs so fewer workers than in decades past, there is the answer", wrote Daniel Griswold, a senior researcher at the free-market Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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