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Thread: Trump Expected To Formally Order Tariffs On Steel, Aluminum Imports

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  1. #1
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    Trump Expected To Formally Order Tariffs On Steel, Aluminum Imports

    Trump Expected To Formally Order Tariffs On Steel, Aluminum Imports

    March 8, 2018
    5:00 AM ET
    Scott Horsley

    Trains with scrap metal stay in front of the Huettenwerk Krupp Mannesmann GmbH steel mill in Duisburg, Germany. President Trump is expected to order tariffs on aluminum and steel imports as early as Thursday.

    President Trump is expected to sign a formal order imposing steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum as early as Thursday. It's the boldest move to date for the president who campaigned on a protectionist platform sharply at odds with Republicans' free-trade orthodoxy.

    "We're going to build our steel industry back, and we're going to build our aluminum industry back," Trump said when he first announced the proposed tariffs on March 1. He also said, "They've been horribly treated by other countries, and they have not been properly represented. More importantly, because of that, workers in our country have not been properly represented."

    Trump's plan calls for a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent levy on imported aluminum. Although the president prefers to apply the tariffs on imports from any country, some exceptions could be made.

    "There are potential carve-outs for Mexico and Canada, based on national security, and possibly for other countries as well," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday.

    Canada is the leading supplier of imported steel and aluminum to the U.S., accounting for 16 percent of imported steel and 41 percent of imported aluminum, as CNBC has reported.

    Domestic steelworkers applauded the president's move.

    "Everybody's just happy," said Mark Goodfellow, head of the Steelworkers Local 420A in Massena, N.Y., where Alcoa employs about 500 people. "It feels like the American worker is getting a break and finally getting a shot to compete on a level playing field."

    U.S. Steel announced plans to restart one of two idle blast furnaces in Granite City, Ill., and call back some 500 workers.

    Both the steel and aluminum industries have been under heavy pressure from imports. In recommending tariffs or quotas, the Commerce Department noted that employment in the domestic steel industry has shrunk by 35 percent in the last two decades, while the aluminum industry shed nearly 60 percent of its jobs between 2013 and 2016.

    "Those are bedrock, backbone industries of this country," said White House trade adviser Peter Navarro. "And the president is going to defend them against what is basically a flood of imports that have pushed out American workers, aluminum smelters. And we can't afford to lose them."

    Authority for the tariffs comes from a seldom-used law from the 1960s that's designed to protect domestic industries deemed vital to national defense.

    But Defense Secretary James Mattis questioned that premise, noting that military demand for steel and aluminum can be met with just 3 percent of domestic production. What's more, unless the U.S. declares war on its neighbor to the north, metal supplies from Canada are not likely to be compromised.

    Experts say the real challenge for industry is China, which produces almost as much steel in a month as the U.S. does all year. But the U.S. has already imposed anti-dumping measures against Chinese producers, and relatively little Chinese metal flows directly into the U.S. market.

    "Even though China's over-capacity is weighing down global prices, it's not the direct cause of a loss of our aluminum and steel industries," Navarro said. "The direct cause is simply the foreign steel that crosses our borders. And that is what we must stop."

    Critics worry that tariffs will increase costs for businesses and consumers and could spark retaliation from America's trading partners. Republican lawmakers have been urging the White House to adopt a more surgical approach, including carve-outs for U.S. allies such as Canada.

    "If these tariffs are implemented with a broad brush, it will have the potential to backfire, cost us jobs at home, force consumers to pay higher prices for goods, and ultimately hurt our economy," warned Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., chairman of the Joint Economic Committee.

    The tariffs have also caused friction within the administration. Trump's top economic adviser and free-trade advocate Gary Cohn announced his resignation on Tuesday.

    "President Trump is a unique negotiator," Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said this week, as Radio Iowa reported. "Sometimes he keeps people off balance, even his own staff."

    Many farmers are heavily dependent on export markets and could be hard-hit by a trade war. Asked for his advice, Perdue chuckled softly and said, "Pray."

  2. #2
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    Trump offers little clarity on tariffs, ribs 'globalist' Gary Cohn in Cabinet meeting


    Mar 8, 2018, 12:54 PM ET

    Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

    President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the White House, March 8, 2018, in Washington, DC.

    President Donald Trump in a Thursday Cabinet meeting offered little clarity on his upcoming tariffs announcement and joked that his outgoing economic adviser Gary Cohn was a "globalist" who could one day return to the administration.

    The president said he’s going to be “very fair” and “very flexible” on tariffs and reiterated he wants a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum.

    But he then laid out a considerable amount of potential wiggle room for some countries.

    “I’ll have a right to go up or down depending on the country and I’ll have a right to drop out countries or add countries,” Trump said. “I just want fairness, because we have not been treated fairly by other countries.”

    The administration had already said Wednesday evening that Canada and Mexico would be initially exempted in whatever tariffs the president announces, although Trump said that could change depending on the results of negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

    In a tweet earlier this morning, Trump said the U.S. must show quote "great flexibility and cooperation toward those that are real friends and treat us fairly on both trade and the military."

    During the president's remarks on 'flexibility,' Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross clinked their water glasses. The two had been on opposite sides of this tariff fight – Mattis pushing for exemptions for national security while Ross has backed the tariffs, dismissing talk of retaliation by allies and the potential for lost jobs.

    Trump also used the meeting as a farewell to Cohn, who announced his plans to resign this past Tuesday after failing to convince the president not to implement tariffs.

    "He may be a globalist, but I still like him," the president said of Cohn, who was seated just behind him.
    The president also teased a potential revolving door return in Cohn's future.

    "He's going to go out and make another of couple hundred million, and then he's going to maybe come back," Trump said, though he added he didn't expect Cohn to return to his same position considering the tariffs fight.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
    If these countries do NOT want tariffs imposed on THEM...then they can DROP their tariffs THEY impose on us!
    Judy likes this.


  4. #4
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    Aug 2005
    US still needs the tariffs until trade is balanced.

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