The President’s decision to put tariffs on steel and aluminum may sound like a good idea to the people who work in those industries. But some economists say Trump is playing a dangerous game. They say American consumers are going to pay for that mistake. Adding a 25 percent tariff to the cost of imported steel, and 10 percent to the cost of aluminum will force China and other countries to react. And that reaction could raise retail prices faster than Trump can tweet. Mr. Trump is adding more fuel to the trade war that silently goes on between the United States and its trading partners. The president said he is putting “America First” but in reality, he is throwing American consumers under the inflation bus.
Mr. Trump thinks adding tariffs to certain necessities like steel and aluminum will give American steel and aluminum companies a chance to regain some of the business they lost over the last 20 years. Trump thinks he can rekindle the love for “Made in America” steel and aluminum and bring back jobs. But many economists say those industries will continue to struggle in America’s new economy. The president of the National Foreign Trade Council, Rufus Yerxa, said Trump is in a time warp. He cares more about the old American economy, not the new one, according to Yerxa.
Canada is an important trade partner and a major global aluminum supplier. Canadian leaders didn’t waste any time blasting Trump’s move against aluminum. They will respond once the tariff goes into effect. And the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker said Trump is foolishly trying to protect America’s interests by taking jobs away from European workers, according to an article in the Washington Post. No one is sure how China will respond, but the people who know how the Chinese think say they will fight back with tariffs of their own.
Many Republicans on Capitol Hill say the president’s form of protectionism is going to raise the cost of necessary consumer goods like automobiles and food when America’s trading partners retaliate. Inflation is quieting creeping into the pocketbooks of American consumers now, and when the tariffs go into effect, inflation will rear its ugly head, according to several lawmakers. The stock market is already feeling the impact of Trump’s decision. Consumers will feel the fury of America’s trading partners when countries around the world put tariffs on the American exports that employ millions of people.