ACA writes Trump, urging him to reconsider steel, aluminum tariffs

Factbox: Trump's steel, aluminum trade tariffs, Mar 12

Associations Issue Statements On Recent Steel And Aluminum Tariffs

A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office estimated that Americans pay an extra $2 billion a year because of sugar tariffs and quotas.

Defenders of the tariffs argue that steel and aluminum are important for national defense, and so need to be protected even at the cost of less martial industries.

In 2002, when the US implemented steel tariffs, the result was a loss of 200,000 jobs, according to a 2003 report by Trade Partnership Worldwide.

Victor Gao: I think the tariffs to be imposed by the USA on these exporters of steel and aluminum products to the U.S. are the wrong sanctions and are the wrong thing for the United States to do.

After surprising markets in recent days with plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, President Trump signed the authorization Thursday afternoon, applying taxes broadly to all countries except Canada and Mexico.

"But of course the European Union also continues the preparations to ensure a firm and proportionate response in line with the WTO rules in the event United States measures should be applied", he added. But do these analysts even know what they're talking about?

The tariffs will affect a wide range of products, including high-tech gadgets, food, furniture and beverages.

Donald Trump announced hefty duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium, despite protests by many in his party and some of his top economic advisors.

"Imported aluminum used to make beer cans is not a threat to national security", said Jim McGreevy, the Beer Institute's CEO. Tariffs raise the price of, and reduce demand for, imported goods.

Import taxes will tend to drive already exorbitant USA construction costs even higher, hurting commercial development around the country.

President Trump's claim that trade wars can be easily won is as credible as the neoconservative claim that the Iraq War would be a cakewalk.

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However, there could be a downside to tariffs if trade deals are not done right.

The U.S. Constitution gives Congress, and only Congress, the power to regular commerce, but significant pieces of that power have been outsourced to the executive branch over the last four decades.

"We expect the impact on USA growth and inflation to be fairly limited", said Mikael Olai Milhoj, a senior analyst at Danske Bank in Copenhagen.

Asked to respond to Trump's accusations that the EU is imposing barriers to USA automakers, Malmstrom said that "it's hard to argue on Twitter over these issues, but the European Union is a very open market".

The general economic view of trade protection says that tariffs transfer money from a good's consumers to its producers. Pain which does not improve the economy is hard to justify.

Steel producing countries worry not just about lost sales in the USA, but also that steel from other exporting nations will flood in.

If Trump wants to help the steel and aluminum industries, there are better ways to do it.

Since the tariffs, if the USA pulls the exemptions for its NAFTA partners, are expected to cost Canada US$3.2 billion, he estimates Canada would be justified in levying tariffs on a variety of USA goods of equal value. The construction industry would take the biggest hit.

These agreements cover agriculture, application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures and a host of other details.Other agreements have been made between specific countries, like those the US has between Israel (1985), Canada and Mexico (NAFTA, 1994), Jordan (2001), Australia (2004), Chile (2004), Singapore (2004), Bahrain (2006), Morocco (2006), Oman (2006), Peru (2007), the Dominican Republic (2007), Panama (2011), Colombia (2011) and South Korea (2011), as listed by Wikipedia.

The trade in steel between Canada and the pretty much balanced, so Canada could respond with its own tariffs on American steel and aluminum.

"If a trade war begins between China and the US it won't imperil financial flows since these countries are two large economies and China has a sustainable balance-of payment surplus in bilateral trade with the US", Huang told Sputnik China.

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