Trump’s Tariff Threat to Kick Off Trade War?

Even though the business press and foreign officials have regularly raised the specter that, say, opposing what looks like dumping or predatory pricing or export subsidies could trigger an oh-to-be-avoided-at-all-costs trade war, Trump may finally be about to start the real deal.

Yesterday, the Administration announced that it would impose 25% tariffs on imported steel and 10% on imported aluminum. The reaction was swift and decidedly unhappy. The Dow fell by over 2% and US business leaders started tearing their hair and rending their garments. From the Wall Street Journal:

A cascade of industry trade groups moved quickly to denounce the moves, including beer and boat makers worried about costlier aluminum, and manufacturers of chemicals, air conditioners, and oil pipelines all concerned about pricier steel inputs.

“It’s going to be expensive,” said Ed Bolas, chief financial officer at DyCast Specialties Corp., a Minnesota maker of parts for products including cutting tools and engines. “All of it will impact the consumer.”….

The decision was controversial inside his own administration, coming over the objections of some top advisers, and surprising many in the White House who first learned of the plans from news reports Wednesday night. Mr. Trump’s Defense Department had weighed in against the move, with a memo cautioning against harm to “our key allies” like Canada and Japan.

Trump has a well-established history of saying he will make big moves and then not delivering. Having said that, if it does follow through, the Administration will rely on a seldom-invoked section of WTO rules which allow members to impose tariffs. The Financial Times quoted EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom:

Of particular concern, she said, was the Trump administration’s decision to use a national security statute to apply tariffs. 

That move would end a decades-old ceasefire on using a loophole in global trading rules intended to be employed only in times of war or other national emergencies. Ms Malmstrom said it also risked undermining the World Trade Organization and provoking other countries to do the same. 

The US has apparently tried to apply a little lipstick to this procedural pig. Again from the Journal:

The president justified the tariffs by invoking a little-used Cold War era law that gives presidents broad discretion to curb imports deemed a threat to “national security.” The announcement was based on studies conducted by the Commerce Department, made public last month, which concluded metals imports had eroded the country’s ability to make its own weapons, tanks, and aircraft.

And more may be in the offing:

Trump aides are also weighing a broad package of trade and investment penalties against China, as they complete a detailed study accusing Beijing of widespread theft and expropriation of American intellectual property. Thursday’s decision is aimed in particular at China, whose steel overcapacity has fueled a global glut hampering American producers.

Europe sees itself as having no choice other than to raise its own tariff barriers. Steel and aluminum are in global oversupply, with China the biggest perp. The EU is not going to sit pat and let Europe become the dumping ground for product that would otherwise have gone to the US.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross acts as if the US is trying to engineer that result: But he should be careful what he wishes for. From Politico:

Europe is facing an all-out trade war, and Donald Trump is not the only adversary.

By slapping steep tariffs on America’s imports of steel and aluminum, the U.S. president on Thursday ignited a global war that is likely to bring Europe into conflict with countries ranging from Brazil to Japan.

As the world’s biggest trade bloc and the second biggest steel producer after China, the EU will play a key role in the impending struggle.

Direct retaliation against Washington will only be one dimension of the broader showdown. The far more complex challenge for Brussels will be calculating how to cope with the sudden shifts in global steel supply caused by Trump pulling down the trade barriers in the U.S.

“We will not sit idly while our industry is hit with unfair measures that put thousands of European jobs at risk” — Jean-Claude Juncker
Big producers such as South Korea, Japan, Brazil and China will now be seeking new markets in Europe, and the EU is already looking to deter them with so-called “safeguard measures.”

Shortly after Trump announced additional tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker responded that the EU would take the fight straight back to Washington.

“The Commission will bring forward in the next few days a proposal for World Trade Organization-compatible countermeasures against the U.S. to rebalance the situation,” he [Jean-Claude Juncker] said. “The EU has been a close security ally of the U.S. for decades. We will not sit idly while our industry is hit with unfair measures that put thousands of European jobs at risk. I had the occasion to say that the EU would react adequately and that’s what we will do.”

The EU’s direct retaliation plans are likely to include counterstrikes against iconic U.S. brands such as whiskey from Kentucky, orange juice from Florida and Harley-Davidson motorbikes, which have all been cited as potential targets in previous trade face-offs with the United States.

Even Canada complained about the US plans: “Canada will take responsive measures to defend its trade interests and workers.”

On the one hand, as we discussed earlier this week, globalization and extended supply chains are a major contributor to global warming and no nation seems to regard itself as responsible for the resulting greenhouse gas emissions. Globalization has also been deployed in such a way as to squeeze worker wages, and the pain is moving up the employment food chain. After the crisis, some multinationals like Proctor & Gamble took steps to simplify and shorten their supply chains, but that impulse waned as oil prices stayed low.

However, as US corporate profits have remained at record levels relative to GDP even as US lifespans are falling, a five alarm warning of serious distress in the general public, no one in a position of authority felt inclined to try to address this situation, both from a “worst case” basis, as in addressing obvious-looking abuses, as well as more systematically. Trump’s predilection is to break things because he can. We’ll see soon enough if the collateral damage is limited. People in overextended empires aren’t in a great position to pick fights that could come back to bite them.

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  1. cnchal

    More from the Politico article.

    U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has suggested that there could be a positive domino effect in safeguard measures for developed markets. With one market after another shutting out imports to keep the steel surge out, producers in every country would have to focus on supplying their home market. The ultimate victim should be China, which would start to choke on its massive overcapacity.

    “If other countries adopt something similar to what we are doing, then you have in hand a solution to the global problem,” he said. “Thus far, no one has stepped into a leadership role … In essence, these recommendations are that the U.S. step into that leadership role and encourage other countries to adopt similar measures.”

    China can always dump it’s extra steel into Africa, or the ocean.

    As far as Canada’s government caring about it’s workers, it’s total nonsense. Relatively few are employed in the steel and aluminum industries in Canada, which are not Canadian owned anyway. What they do care about is being a doormat for China. There are massive SRED tax credits handed out to develop products, the production of which is subsequently done in China. Another example is Bombardier, which receives massive subsidies, and then gives the jet that was developed away to Airbus after being threatened by Boeing, a threat that was ultimately empty.

    Globalization is a disaster, no matter where one cares to look.

  2. Livius Drusus

    I am for anything that breaks up the neoliberal, globalist consensus. It is for this same reason that I thought Brexit was a good thing. Continuing with the status quo out of fear of trade wars and other disruptions is outweighed by the fact that the current system is literally killing thousands of people. We are facing a crisis similar to what happened after the collapse of the Soviet Union and some analysts think the amount of “deaths of despair” might top one million in the near future. This is war crime/genocide territory.

    The explosion of deaths of despair started in 2000 right around the time that the trade deficit exploded resulting in over five million manufacturing jobs lost. This is the major cause for declining life expectancy in the United States. Globalization and free trade as practiced under the neoliberal consensus are crimes against humanity.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      If the UK undergoes a hard Brexit, or worse, a disorderly Brexit, it will have a GDP per capita in real terms 10% lower in a decade. I guarantee it. And the UK doesn’t even remotely have the social cohesion of Japan. The people who will take the biggest hits will be those in the hinterlands, the farmers that got EU subsidies, and the small and medium sized towns that still had some manufacturing, which will largely go poof once customs barriers go in place and multinationals move production out of the UK.

      If the UK were in the midst of a war-level of industrial planning to reorient the economy for all of the jobs and income it will lose, I might be more positively inclined. But the UK will lose production and subsidies. Making the pound cheaper didn’t help exports during the crisis; you need to have goods and services others would consume in greater quantities plus the capacity to produce them. The UK is going to lose on the manufacturing side and the US and EU will take a big piece out of the City. A lower pound won’t increase exports but it will increase the cost of food and fuel in a big way, hurting middle and lower income citizens hardest.

      UKIP and the Tories were pushing Brexit because they wanted to get out of EU labor and environmental regs. And you think this is a plus, allowing the rich to squeeze the lower classes even more?

      I spent some of my childhood in Ohio and Michigan, in once prosperous small towns that have been hit hard by the hollowing out of US manufacturing. It’s easy to get all romantic about sacrifice until you have to make it or even better, others bear the brunt of the costs. Suicides among the middle aged and elderly are rising in the US because they are out of hope and money. You’ll see that change happen even more rapidly with a hard Brexit than we had in ~ 30 years.

      1. Synoia

        How dies one un-wind the neo liberal order? It’s is painful now, and we have promises of worse.

        With the promise of ever cheaper labor, from automation and AI, and, cough “free trade,” which appears more and more as not free trade but an global anti-worker and anti-civil society program, at some point there is a collapse in demand as jobs are increasingly exported to the next bastion of slavery.

        I’d point out the Germans as somewhat protected, because there are few German speaking countries on the planed to where their jobs can be outsourced. That changes with AI.

        What Aristo need peasants when there autonomous, non-rebelling (for a while) machinery?

        When the autonomous system do gain senescence, they will quickly decide they don’t need Aristos. They will need flesh-bots, because flesh-bots are longer lived and have lower manufacturing (reproduction) costs.

        Yes it is going to be unpleasant.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Help me.

          Brexit is not going to unwind the neoliberal order. It will reinforce it. One of the points is to weaken regulations, as I stated. It will lead to more justifications for squeezing labor (“we have to because even higher trade deficit and collapsing currency”) and will also lead to the more decay at the NHS, a sought-after hard core right winger goal since they want it to collapse (because 10% of the doctors and 5% of the nurses are immigrants and will leave and can’t be replaced, and because tax revenues will fall as incomes fall so the NHS budget will also be hurt). And of course, other social services will go on the chopping block due to the fall in tax revenues.

          You appear to have fallen hook, line and sinker, for Tory/Brexiteer propaganda, which blames increasing inequality and the fallen state of the North on the evil EU. This is scapegoating. Did you miss that the UK is ground zero of neoliberalisn? It was Thatcher that went full bore against labor and manufacturing and for the financialization of the economy.

          The EU is less neoliberal than the UK. It has more regulation. It is way tougher about anti-monopoly and pro-privacy policy. It supports subsidizing agriculture in the interest of local control.

          If you think a vote against the EU is a vote against neoliberalism, you are smoking something very strong. The EU is neoliberalism lite compared to what the UK has promoted. And the Tories will go much harder in that direction post Brexit. They’ll run the classic austerity playbook when they get the inevitable budget crisis.

      2. Livius Drusus

        I am very sympathetic to the argument that accelerating the demise of the system is not always a good idea since it can cause a lot of additional suffering without any guarantee that things will improve. 20 or even 10 years ago I probably would have agreed. But I am convinced that the elites are planing their final coup. It may sound very tinfoil hat-ish but I suspect that this is why so much effort is being put into surveillance tech, neo-Taylorism in the workplace, attacking cash and pushing for AI and robotics.

        The elites know that the system is teetering on the edge but they are convinced that if enough powerful tech is rolled out in the next decade it will make any action by the common people impossible or at least totally ineffective.

        If my hunch is correct it might be better to take some hits now to avoid the worst possible scenario which is some type of totalitarian cyberpunk dystopia. Breaking down the global trade system and supranational blocs like the EU might be a way to give workers breathing room to operate in the near future. Recapturing national sovereignty for the common people is the way forward.

        Systems must be degraded to a certain degree before major changes can occur. The French and Russian revolutions would likely not have occurred without the degradation of the old monarchical regimes in France and Russia. Hopefully we can avoid as much pain as possible but can we afford to keep going along the path we are on?

        1. a different chris

          I wouldn’t go so far as saying Brexit was “a good thing”, just better than the alternative. And that is despite the fact that I believe every word Yves wrote in reply. But I would like to expand on this:

          >it will have a GDP per capita in real terms 10% lower in a decade.

          And it will be bottoming out at that point. Meanwhile about 5 years after that the rest of the EU will be blowing apart. Greece is just the warmup. Italy? France? How much longer are they going to put up with the Germans? So I wish* Corbyn or somebody with sense was running Brexit but unlikely to happen.

          Shorter me: Leaky lifeboat vs lower decks of the Titanic.

          And I would have said 10 years, but Brexit will manage to extend the EU cluster(familyblog) for a few years. They will make little country concessions all around to “highlight the differences” between them and the soggy Brits but that will only add a few years as the neo+ordo-libs can’t help themselves but tighten the chain again. It’s what they do. It’s all they really know.

          *Well, “I wish” being if the consensus is right, but still am thinking Brexit won’t happen. And Britain will get slapped for trying, and then they will go down with everybody else which is just a shame.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            No, the EU will not be “blowing apart”. You’ve read too much Tory propaganda. The EU is actually growing pretty well now and except in Germany, the right wing populist threat has faded.

            And the big pressure on the EU, let us not forget, had nada to do with the EU per se. What led to the rise of the “populists” was immigration from the Middle East, the result of US nation-breaking fun.

      3. Lgendron

        Dear Yves,
        I can tell you that things in New Hampshire towns are not good. Aas a matter of fact. all through New Hampshire (and New England), the mills are shut down; those woolen, paper and steel mills are non existent. What once was an artery running through these towns has been dried up, people aren’t working, main streets are empty and small stores closed.
        And people don’t walk anywhere… they drive to Home Depot, to Walmart etc to get their processed food and sugary snacks.
        Home values are falling, property values falling and taxes keep going up, with no additional services.
        New England boasted proud and hard working people, who took pride in their homes, their values and the work they did.

        Why can’t American companies repurpose these beautiful old mills, and open satellite shops, plants, offices, get people working, give them stock in the company (follow chobani model) put in a gym, child care etc…
        The buildings are there. The work force is there. It wouldn’t take much for a few CEOs to look into these towns and to make an investment and make a huge difference.

        1. nonsense factory

          Why can’t they? The simple answer is ‘because investment capitalism.’

          Those American companies all own or have signed contracts with overseas mills. So you’re asking them to make a huge capital investment in these towns, which will likely have to be financed by Wall Street investment banks, right? They will look at the corporation’s balance sheets, and say, you are closing overseas mills with low production costs and opening domestic mills with high production costs, plus this large capital infrastructure investment – your profit margins are going to decline; your share price will fall. . . No, we aren’t going to finance this, as it is likely we will never get paid back.

          Now, if free trade deals were rescinded such that the imports from overseas mills became more expensive than the domestically produced product, or if there were high taxes imposed on capital transfers (i.e. if the money the overseas mills get in exchange for their product could not be repatriated to Wall Street without a stiff border-crossing penalty), than that investment calculus would change.

          They aren’t in business to do good for local communities, you have to remember that – they are in business to make money, because if they don’t make money, they go out of business.

          This is why Bernie Sanders has said these ‘free trade deals’ are bad for the American worker in their current form; and he’s basically right.

  3. Dean

    That move would end a decades-old ceasefire on using a loophole in global trading rules intended to be employed only in times of war or other national emergencies.

    Ummm…I guess this is technically an accurate statement since Congress hasn’t formally declared “War” in accordance with the US Constitution.

    1. a different chris

      Yup we never declare War but we never stop fighting wars.

      But people tell me the Second Amendment is an unbreachable barrier. We can just ignore it like we do anything else we don’t want to acknowledge. I didn’t look back so I don’t know if anybody responded, but I still don’t see anything in the media about how about 1/2 the laws in the land are being broken by Georgia threatening Delta for not giving special breaks to a private party.

  4. The Rev Kev

    Not to worry. Senator Reed Smoot and Representative Willis C. Hawley are on the case and are working up legislation as we speak.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I really hope that we do not have to find out. Remember that old boxing adage? Everybody has a plan – until they get hit.

  5. Lincoln's Tariffs Built the US

    Trump could always impose across the board tariffs on all manufactures. Nixon did this in 1971 when the US began having really tiny trade deficits (10% on Germany and Japan). In the 19th and early 20th centuries the US was the envy of the world under a steep protectionist regime (40-50% average duties, plus much higher transportation costs). No country has ever gone wrong by practicing protectionism. Free trade has led to devastating poverty in places such as Haiti, Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, etc. Paul Bairoch, famed Belgian economist, is the go-to-source on how forced liberalism wrecked the developing world. Ha Joon Chang, Cambridge Economist, is another good resource.

    1. Steve

      Ha Jong’s work on “free trade” notes how it hurts nations at their early stages of development, which is why all of today’s “developed” nations did not practice “free trade” when they were industrializing.

      It remains to be seen how those with access to political and economic power and wealth, respond & adjust to disruption of global MNC supply chains via import tariffs. They will definitely pass on their higher costs to consumers to protect their profits and they will definitely relocate activities to other markets perceived to offer higher growth rates then the US.

    2. Lee

      I’m guessing the U.S. is rich enough in human and natural resources to practice a high degree of autarky.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Yes. And it is only the Free Trade Agreements and the current Globalist Government which prevent us from doing so.

        However, it would take us several decades to restore the semi-autarky which several decades of Free Traderites have been working to destroy any hope of achieving.

        1. Lee

          However, it would take us several decades to restore the semi-autarky which several decades of Free Traderites have been working to destroy any hope of achieving.

          Well, the sooner we start, the sooner we get there.

          The alternative would be to end labor arbitrage and export our health, safety, wage and quality standards instead of the capital garnered from our own wage workers.

          1. djrichard

            Even if we exported “our health, safety, wage and quality standards instead of the capital garnered from our own wage workers” it wouldn’t really matter. Even if we had a level playing field between the US and other countries, it would be no different than a level playing field within the US, between one state vs another. Because even with that level playing field between the states, there’s still a trade imbalance in goods and services between the states. Which is balanced out by the US Fed Gov basically redistributing the surplus.

            But imagine if the US Fed Gov didn’t exist. What would happen instead? The states that are running a surplus would have to seek other means to repatriate the currency back to the states that they’re hoovering up the surplus from. Otherwise if they don’t, they would quickly extinguish the ability of those states that are running a deficit from acquiring any more goods and services from the states that are running a surplus. And their options would be limited:
            a) buy more goods and services from the states that are running a deficit, or
            b) buy assets from the states that are running a deficit, namely in the form of bonds. Less so in real-estate or buying a stake in business opportunities in those states.
            b.1) Unless of course, the local tax or labor laws were changed to make those states more attractive from that perspective, or in the worse case
            c) simply don’t repatriate the currency back to the states that are running a trade deficit. So that those states can no longer run trade deficits going forward, and their trade is balanced going forward, albeit it’s at minimum. Of course, you do this with enough states that are running a trade deficit and pretty soon you destroy the market that you’re selling goods to.

            Option (b) is what the world is currently doing with the US. They’re simply repatriating their surplus US currency back into into US bonds and US equities.

            Option (b) is also what the eurozone was doing to Greece. If Greece could have floated a deficit with more bond issuance, they could have kept this game going. But Greece can’t. So now the game is a mix between (c) and (b.1) to make Greece more attractive from an investment perspective, e.g. by breaking their back from a governance/labor perspective. Which by the way is the same thing the US is doing to Puerto Rico.

            1. Lee

              A monetary sovereign need not ever run short of its own currency. Creating too much in relation to physical and human resources can prove problematic but that is a resource problem, not one due to a lack of one’s own currency.

              1. djrichard

                Hey Lee,

                You bring up an interesting point. So the counterpoint I’m struggling with is that the US Treasury actually sent a trade delegation to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia back in the 70s, to have them purchase US Treasuries. KSA was manipulating their currency and basically hoarding US currency as a result. And the US Treasury had to go over there and tell them to swap their currency hoards for US treasuries (and to hoard that instead). It would be interesting to understand what motivated the US Treasury, given your point that they can generate bonds-on-demand from the banks. I think it has to do with the pricing of said bonds (how much of a discount they have). That’s the one thing that seems to be missing when it comes to an MMT explanation of our currency, which is, how are bonds-on-demand priced?

                Anyways, this happened with Japan too, when they were manipulating their currency. US Treasury had to send a trade delegation there as well.

                Not sure if this happened with China. China may have figured out how the game was played when they arrived on the scene in manipulating their currency.

  6. monoloco

    “Trump aides are also weighing a broad package of trade and investment penalties against China, as they complete a detailed study accusing Beijing of widespread theft and expropriation of American intellectual property. ” I wonder if that includes Ivanka’s Italian knock-off shoes and hand bags?

    1. Lee

      And then there’s this:

      Popular goods sold through Amazon, Walmart and others are counterfeits: Government report

      Twenty of 47 products tested found to be not only counterfeit but hazardous. Yikes! From the same country that brought us deadly cough syrup, baby formula and pet food. Not to mention a whole host of just plain crap consumer products.

      It’s not completely fair to put all the blame on China. They couldn’t do it without the collusion of western capital, as is so clearly demonstrated in this instance.

      1. nonsense factory

        That’s the game: cut skilled labor costs for US manufacturing from $15-$25 an hour to $1.50-$2.50 an hour, and eliminate all those pesky safety regulations, worker’s comp; this cuts production costs by I’d guess 75%, and although you have more shipping costs, at the end of the day profits quadruple or more; that’s why Apple closed all its Bay Area production facilities and is now sitting on a huge pile of cash, as are all the garment manufacturers, etc.

        They claim this is good for US consumers who can now buy their products at slightly lower prices (H&M cheap fashion etc.) but really, the prices have gone down far, far less than the production costs, and Wall Street pocketed the difference.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Do the Amazombies even know this? If they knew, would they even care?

        Or do they consider the digital groovycool factor so important that they would rather buy known fakes from Amazon than buy known Real Things in a meatspace analog store?

  7. nonsense factory

    I do understand the Rust Belt sentiment that Trump is tapping into, though it’s all just political charade; the Democrats offer the Rust Belt more misery, Trump offers them a pipe dream. . . Bruce Springsteen explained the problem some years ago:


    Here in northeast Ohio
    Back in eighteen-o-three
    James and Dan Heaton
    Found the ore that was linin’ Yellow Creek
    They built a blast furnace
    Here along the shore
    And they made the cannonballs
    That helped the Union win the war

    Well my daddy worked the furnaces
    Kept ’em hotter than hell
    I come home from ‘Nam worked my way to scarfer
    A job that’d suit the devil as well
    Taconite coke and limestone
    Fed my children and make my pay
    Them smokestacks reachin’ like the arms of God
    Into a beautiful sky of soot and clay

    Well my daddy come on the Ohio works
    When he come home from World War Two
    Now the yard’s just scrap and rubble
    He said “Them big boys did what Hitler couldn’t do.”
    These mills they built the tanks and bombs
    That won this country’s wars
    We sent our sons to Korea and Vietnam
    Now we’re wondering what they were dyin’ for

    From the Monongahela valley
    To the Mesabi iron range
    To the coal mines of Appalachia
    The story’s always the same
    Seven hundred tons of metal a day
    Now sir you tell me the world’s changed
    Once I made you rich enough
    Rich enough to forget my name.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      This article by the official Chinagov spokesfolk is part of an ongoing psychological operation against the mind of Free Trade’s victims. The real Chinese goal is for China to be the whole world’s metropole, and the whole world to be China’s hinterland. And the globalist rich of every other country hope to be well paid and richly rewarded running-dog lacky flunky stooges of the ImperioMercantilist Chinese Economic Hegemonists.

  8. drumlin woodchuckles

    The bad thing about a Trump Trade War is that Trump does not understand what Trade War victory requires in terms of Trade War Socialism and National Sacrifice starting with the Overclass and working its way down the Class Ladder.

    But time is running out to declare and wage a Trade War of National Survival, before the Globalists destroy America all the way down to being China’s overseas Tibet. We need a political party to emerge and run on that platform . . . of cancelling every single Free Trade Agreement we have and then banning imports one sector at a time, repairing that sector within the US, and then moving on to banning imports into the next sector.

    And of course the foreign countries will ban our exports in return. That is a GOOD thing. That is part of how we begin to reduce global warming, by reducing the Trade which helps to cause global warming. And if we approached a National Survival Trade War in the spirit of Trade War Socialism as much as necessary, we could survive the transition to Separate National Survival with minimum discriminatory deprivation against the poor.

    1. wilroncanada

      What happens to all the resources your country is stealing now from psychopaths it helped put into power in the global south? Are you going to actually buy them at the going rate, as China does more often, or are you going to continue stealing them? There is t-raid, and there is TRADE.

  9. Tyronius

    If I knew better, I’d think the Trump adminstration is trying its hardest to crater the American economy into recession.

    After all, he’s on record as saying he loves recessions for the buying opportunities. Yes, there’s a tweet for that.

    Given such a goal, announcing tariffs on such widely traded basic industrial materials as timber, steel and aluminum makes perfect sense.

    At least for him. But I’m not a one percenter, nor do I have a fancy degree, so I don’t know better.

    Do I?

  10. Lorraine T.

    Trump’s “Trade War” is a distraction from the problems of Admin. #45 and repercussions from the RussiaGate investigation. Of course, Trump intends to follow thru with this. But it’s the American people who will suffer in the end thanks to this Tariff war, with the start of an economic recession, manufacturing job losses, increased consumer prices, tarnished international reputation, stock market decline, etc…..ultimately, it’ will become part of GOP’s “war on the People” [until they figure out how to dismantle “Trump-enstein”].

  11. David Carl Grimes

    Question: Wasn’t Wilbur Ross an owner of US Steel at one time? Does he still have ties to the industry?

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