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Will Trump’s Tariffs Work? Experts Say No

Adaeze Chukwuka, Staff Writer

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On March 1st, Trump declared that he would put tariffs on steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) imports the following week. Trump enacted the tariff under an unpopular trade law from the 1960s which only allows him to place such tariffs on these items as long as importing them is a threat to America’s national security. Republican Senators were worried about potential backlash from foreign nations, most notably Ben Sasse, who stated “You’d expect a policy this bad from a leftist administration, not a supposedly Republican one.” Senator Pat Roberts stated that “Every time you do this, you get a retaliation. And agriculture is the number one target. I think this is terribly counterproductive for the (agriculture) economy and I’m not very happy.”

So what was Trump’s goal in passing the tariff? The public is unsure, but some suspect that Trump believes the United States has become too lenient regarding foreign trade that has been used to exploit our nation for years. The goal of the tariff may be to tighten foreign trade policy and minimize these exploitations, but many feel that Trump’s methods are not the best. The day after his declaration, Trump tweeted “When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win” and “We must protect our country and our workers. Our steel industry is in bad shape. IF YOU DON’T HAVE STEEL, YOU DON’T HAVE A COUNTRY!”

Trump states that his tariffs will increase production in the nation and create jobs in the steel industry. However, this may not happen. The tariff could likely result in negative reactions from foreign nations and lead to a tariff war. This will have a negative impact on the economics of all nations involved, including the United States. Both the EU and Canada have already opposed the tariff. The European Commission President stated that the EU will fight back hard. Steven Ciobo, the Australian Trade Minister, stated that “a tariff like this will do nothing other than distort trade and ultimately…will lead to a loss of jobs.” Sasse states that the tariff will result in “a massive tax increase on American families.” Others, such as Senator Mike Lee, agree with him in this statement. Whatever the result may be, the majority of experts seem to be in consensus: Trump’s decision may not be the best for our economy.

Sources

Diaz, Daniella, and Ted Barrett. “GOP Senators Blast Trump’s Tariffs Announcement.” CNN, Cable News Network, 2 Mar. 2018, www.cnn.com/2018/03/01/politics/tariffs-white-house-republicans-congress-reaction/index.html.

Stracqualursi, Veronica. “Trump Digs in despite Market Slide: ‘Trade Wars Are Good’.” CNN, Cable News Network, 2 Mar. 2018, www.cnn.com/2018/03/02/politics/trump-trade-wars-good/index.html.

Horowitz, Julia, and Patrick Gillespie. “Some of America’s Top Allies Are Really, Really Angry about Trump’s Tariffs.” CNNMoney, Cable News Network, 2 Mar. 2018, http://money.cnn.com/2018/03/01/news/economy/european-union-canada-global-response-steel-tariffs/index.html?iid=EL

 

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