Monday, 25 June, 2018

Williams: Bad or good? Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs

Scrapping NAFTA would be a 'catastrophe': Trump's new economic adviser Kudlow Williams: Bad or good? Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs
Ellis Copeland | 14 March, 2018, 10:00

To become more competitive in the world market, some firms may move their production facilities to foreign countries that do not have tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum.

Chinese authorities say they shut down 30 million tonnes of steel production capacity a year ago.

I've been watching with skepticism the political tornado that has swept around the globe with President Trump's decision to impose 10 and 25 percent tariffs on aluminum and steel, respectively, as part of his "America First" philosophy.

President Trump has spoken often about economic dangers from China.

There are also fears that the US could implement quotas.

If the entire cost were passed to consumers, which may not be possible, it could add about $300 to the price of the average vehicle, said Kristen Dziczek, director of Center for Automotive Research's Industry, Labor & Economics Group.

The Trump administration is seeking to raise tariffs on a wide range of Chinese goods. Foreign companies will have to pay a 25 percent tax for steel and 10 percent for aluminum sold on the United States market. They run exactly counter to what would be a sound approach to Chinese mercantilism, as a compelling report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation underscores. Meanwhile, outgoing Republican senator Jeff Flake of Arizona said he would introduce a bill that would block Trump's tariffs. "Consumers are just beginning to see more money in their paychecks following tax reform, but those gains will soon be offset by higher prices for products ranging from canned goods to cars to electronics".

While Trump cited "national security" as the impetus, he's been vowing since the campaign to use trade policy to restore jobs to the American manufacturing sector, which has suffered in recent decades. While the impact of steel tariffs on other domestic manufacturers such as construction and automotive manufacturing is likely to be bad, the bigger concern is that they set off a trade war. Stated differently, the US can't harm the Canadian economy without simultaneously shooting itself in the foot.

U.S. consumer price gains ease in Feb
Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal expected consumer prices to rise 0.2% in February, and core prices to rise 0.2%. In January, manufacturing grew by a robust 8.7 per cent, followed by 7.6 per cent increase in electricity generation.


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He committed 10 turnovers - his previous season high was seven, done twice in an overtime loss to MI and in a win over Kentucky. The Bruins finished the season ranked 9th nationally, but fell in the Pac-12 Tournament championship to Oregon.


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As US District Judge Tena Campbell was escorted out of the courtroom, someone called 911 at the end of the released video. An investigation launched into the incident found the officer, who was not named, was legally justified in using force.


"The exemptions aren't a magical favor that was being done", Trudeau later said in an interview with US television's CNBC. When former President George W. Bush imposed a steep 30 percent tariff on steel imports in 2002, Canada was likewise spared.

"We will have to protect our industry with rebalancing measures", said Cecilia Malmstroem, the EU Trade Commissioner, who this week confirmed that EU states are finalizing a list of USA goods - from peanut butter to bourbon - to hit with retaliatory tariffs. President Trump abuses the WTO system by using the national security exception.

While that is not a lot for the economy as a whole, it would be painful for the individual industry. Executives from both U.S. Steel and Nucor, who had flanked Trump at the White House signing ceremony, wasted no time in lauding the tariffs and their authorization.

USA steel jobs have been mostly lost due to technological change (i.e., robots, not China).

He told the Daily News that the European Union "should not be hasty" and try to negotiate a deal to address USA concerns about national security, which is the stated reason why Trump says he is allowed to place the tariffs. The construction industry would take the biggest hit.

A more likely scenario is that other countries could respond with strategic tariffs and duties on other US products, according to Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Studies by both the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition show that steel-using industries - such as the USA auto industry, its suppliers, and manufacturers of heavy construction equipment - were harmed by tariffs on steel enacted by George W. Bush.

Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said that "there are no winners in a trade war" on Sunday, warning that a trade war between the USA and China will leave the global economy in ruins.

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