Trump Administration to Impose Additional Tariffs
On Thursday, Trump announced on Twitter that he will look to impose additional tariffs on steel and aluminum.
Continuing his criticism of the country’s current trade regulations, the president tweeted, “our steel and aluminum industries have been decimated by decades of unfair trade and bad policy with countries around the world.” He later added, “It will be 25 percent for steel and 10 percent for aluminum.”
This is not the first time Trump has been vocal about his concerns about the U.S’s trade policies, as it was a frequented topic for the president while he was on the campaign trail. Trump, on multiple occasions, has also openly threatened to withdraw from NAFTA, a trade negotiation between the states’ two neighbors, Canada and Mexico.
Trump’s concerns with the U.S’s trade policies extends beyond NAFTA, often citing that the country is receiving the short end in its trade relationship with China. In a listening session on Thursday, Trump criticized China, saying, “What they do is they dump massive amounts of product on our country, and it just kills — it destroys our companies and our jobs.”
The tariffs, aiming to be set next week, is already receiving backlash from his own base. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), noted, "You'd expect a policy this bad from a leftist administration, not a supposedly Republican one." Senator Mike Lee, (R-UT), also added that the tariffs “would be a huge job-killing tax hike.”
Despite the disapproval amongst his Republican colleagues, heads from the steel and aluminum industry are applauding the president for his decision. Scott N. Paul, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, said the move “was an encouraging show of support [for the workers and industry].”
Shortly after the president’s comments, the stock market took a big hit. The Dow dropped 420 points, while both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq slid 1.3%. Trump’s announcement left domestic industries highly reliant on steel and aluminum imports, such as car manufacturers, with uncertainty and doubt.