New Tariffs Could Harm Industry Critical to American Economic Security

Donald Trump says 'trade wars are good' as Wall Street reacts badly to news of steel tariffs

President Trump announced on Thursday that his administration will impose 25 percent and 15 percent tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, respectively, in the coming days. The reality is America's steel mills have a modest employment base (maybe 140,000) because of modern production techniques, not foreign competition.

Many US companies also expressed alarm, including beer brewers, which use aluminium for canned beverages. We're going to wait and see.

"All we're doing here is defending this country against a global economic trading environment that disadvantages" the United States, the White House official said to reporters, repeatedly saying the extra tariffs would have no negative impact in the USA on consumers, trade or jobs.

"This welcome action is long overdue for shuttered steel plants across OH and steelworkers who live in fear that their jobs will be the next victims of Chinese cheating", he said in a statement Thursday.

Trump announced the move on Thursday, saying he wants to slap a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and a 10 per cent duty on aluminum.

Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., called on President Donald Trump to "reconsider" his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum, maintaining the policy would adversely affect American businesses, causing the possibility some companies might opt to "move their operations to another country". There are high prices for steel, plus lumber, labor and more.

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But German vehicles represent only a small part - 7.9 per cent - of the United States automobile market, according to the German auto industry association (VDA), with German manufacturers producing 803,000 vehicles in the U.S. itself in 2017.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, said through a spokesman he hoped Trump would consider the effects of a trade war. U.S. steel, by comparison, only made up 1 percent of European Union steel imports.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said, "the European Union must respond decisively to United States punitive tariffs, which endanger thousands of jobs in Europe".

Mr. Trump supposedly aimed this blow at China, but seems to have hit Canada, and in the process, he's shaking the world.

With global stock markets tumbling in the face of a brewing trade war, European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen sought to offer a degree of reassurance, insisting "there is a little window of opportunity still open" and that Europe was posing a danger to the US.

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