Be wary of anything Donald Trump does or says. He has been proven to be a liar and a cheat. When he speaks of tariffs there is no reason to trust his judgment or statements. If you look beyond his remarks into the facts, it is clear that Trump has created havoc globally because of tariffs.
It was May 31st 2018 thatTrump iimposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminum from three of America’s biggest trading partners — Canada, Mexico and the European Union. Without question the impositoin of those tariffs was predictably going to result in tariffs being imposed by our largest trading partners on America. Trump imposed a tariff of 25% on imported steel and 10% on imported aluminum. Less than two months later Trump attended the G
Mexico, the EU and Canada immediately announced plans to retaliate with their own tariffs against American products. AT the G7 Summit, Trump declared that other countries should elimilnate all trade barriers imposed on goods from the United States. Certainly that position would be consistent with Trump’s campaign slogan of “America First.” However it would be naive to think that other countries would reduce trade barriers on goods from the United States, while the United States is increasing tariffs on good like aluminum and steel.
To make matters worse for the US economy, Trump’s imposition of tariffs on aluminum and steel is not as simple as it might seem at first blush. Some foreign companies that have offices in America and employ American workers are affected by the tariffs. For example, Dan Moore, a 58-year-old steel mill worker, explains:
“We need tariffs, but when it starts to impact the company where you work … you’re thinking, well wait a minute, time out!”
Moore is worried the tariffs might cost him his job. The mill where he works, NLMK Pennsylvania, in the town of Farrell, not far from the border with Ohio, employs 750 workers and is a subsidiary of Novolipetsk Steel, or NLMK, Russia’s top steelmaker. NLMK is creating American jobs, the company is being hit with a 25 percent tariff on steel because it imports raw steel slabs from Russia before turning them into coils in Pennsylvania and then selling that steel to customers that manufacture cars or pipes.
Trump said at the G-7 summit in Canada on Saturday that trade should be free of tariffs and other barriers.
“No tariffs, no barriers, that’s the way it should be — and no subsidies,” the president said at a press conference. However Trump’s imposition of the tariff on steel and aluminum is an obvious contradiction to this policy. Trump targeted the Canadian dairy system at the G7 Summit, complaining that the tariffs charged American diary farmers was unfair. However, Canada’s dairy system falls outside of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
U.S. dairy processors want to increase sales to Canada but high tariffs of nearly 300 percent stand in the way. For several years, U.S. dairies rapidly boosted shipments to Canada of milk proteins, used to make cheese and yogurt, using a loophole in Canada’s tariff system. But a 2016 deal between Canadian dairy farmer groups curbed the flow. Even so, the United States shipped nearly C$600 million worth of dairy north in 2016, five times greater than Canadian sales to the United States.
Thus, America is a net exporter of dairy to Canada. Canadian farmers point out that despite the tariffs that protect them, imports make up 10% of the country’s dairy consumption. By contrast, the US restricts dairy imports to 3% of domestic consumption. “That just screams hypocrisy.”
friction and help economies around the world.
Trump has frequently complained about the European Union’s 10% tariff on cars imported from the United States (cars shipped in the other direction face a 2.5% tariff). But the European Union could complain, too. The United States charges a 350% tariff on some tobacco imports. Clothing and footwear imports into the United States face tariffs as high as 55%, according to the World Trade Organization. Trump has imposed tariffs on products besides steel and aluminum. He has imposed tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels, hitting South Korea and China.
Trump’s attitudes and tariffs could result in historically low average tariff levels to rise as countries feel compelled to retaliate, thus raising costs for businesses and consumers.
As the world increasingly becomes a global marketplace, Trump’s “America First”policies could result in an America last economy.