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REPORT: The Impact of Trump’s Impending Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

After a week of shifting positions on gun control and whiplash from Congress, Trump announced that his administration would be imposing tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum imports. Several Republicans in Congress criticized the president for the decision. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) said the new tariffs would cause a “massive tax increase on American families” and Senator John Thune (R-SD) warned that the new trade policies might be “very harmful to the economy.”

President Trump speaks during a meeting with lawmakers to discuss aluminum and steel imports to the United States.

Earlier this week at the White House, Trump said the tariff for aluminum imports would be 10 percent and 25 percent for steel imports. Many lawmakers and economists are concerned about the impact that a trade war could have on economic growth, which has increased steadily since Trump took office. The Trump administration is hoping that a tax on foreign steel and aluminum imports will help revamp domestic manufacturing, but members of Congress are concerned that other countries will retaliate by imposing new tariffs on goods exported to the United States—which would increase the cost of imported products being sold to American consumers.

Trump speaks with steel and aluminum executives during a meeting at the White House. Image courtesy of AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

The biggest concern expressed by some members of the Trump Administration is that the import taxes could negatively impact the renegotiation of NAFTA with Mexico and Canada, while corporations and economists fear that the new tariffs could escalate to a full-scale trade war—which could trigger a global recession. Despite several parties expressing concerns about the potential consequences of imposing aluminum and steel import taxes, President Trump appeared confident that the tariffs have a positive impact on the United States, tweeting “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.”


Cover image courtesy of Jabin Botsford/Washington Post via Getty Images.