18.03.01 Tariffs

March 2, 2018
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Number of aluminum cans produced in the U.S. every year.

These cans may get more expensive for you to buy.

President Trump announces tariffs; Some love. Some hate.

Flip For Why

Pres Trump:

U.S. to Impose Tariffs on Steel & Aluminum Imports

  • Tariff = tax on import/export
  • 25% duty on steel imports
  • 10% duty on aluminum imports
  • TBD: “…for a long period of time”
  • Formal order expected next week

Why Tariffs Now?

  • Commerce Dep’t warns cheap imports of steel & aluminum hurt nat’l security – i.e., not enough U.S. companies can competitively produce metal for our military.
  • Pres. Trump campaigned on boosting jobs & growth in what he labeled a bedrock American industry (important in key states like Pennsylvania).

Why Tariffs Matter:

Could Cost You $$
While Also Creating Jobs

  • Positive for American companies that produce these products.
  • Some fear retaliation from China & others – a possible “trade war” could mean higher prices for U.S. consumers on MANY products.
  • Stock market reacted by falling sharply (down 586 pts at low).

From Those Who Would Benefit From Tariffs:

‘We are not protectionist. We want a level playing field.’

Dave Burritt, Pres/CEO U.S. Steel, March 1, 2018, at White House Listening Session; says current situation is completely unfair to U.S. companies like his.
‘The President is proposing a massive tax increase on American families. Protectionism is weak, not strong.”

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), March 1, 2018, who is concerned about rising prices for American families & industries, such as farming that use heavy equipment made from material like steel.

Tariff Deja Vu?

  • In 2002, Pres. Bush imposed aA 30% tariff on steel imports.
  • Lasted only 20 months after Europe responded with its own tariffs.
  • World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled U.S. violated international trade agreements.
  • Difference this time: Pres. Trump cites nat’l security provision that WTO typically doesn’t probe.

Don't forget timing. Trump announced his campaign manager for 2020 this week (Pennsylvania crucial to his 2016 win) AND sanctions on North Korea, preventing shipments to China (a major metal producer).

by Jenna Lee,