US' Stiff Tariffs on Steel Imports

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A third source who had direct knowledge of the administration's thinking said the tariffs, associated with a "Section 301" intellectual property investigation, under the 1974 U.S. Trade Act begun in August previous year, could come "in the very near future". One economist predicted a small gain in jobs.

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.

The new steel tariffs is a good idea, except I don't see how the United States can compete with China when the workers there probable get a few dollars a day when union steel workers in the USA get from $30.00 to $60.00 an hour. That's set off a race for USA allies to plead for special treatment, while China has warned of "strong" measures to protect its interests. The bloc does impose a 10 percent levy on US vehicle imports, but the USA charges a 25 percent levy on trucks and pickups, and up to 40 percent on some clothes, she said. Barclays Plc has estimated as much as a 0.2 percentage point impact.

Gregory Mankiw, a Harvard economics professor who advised President George W. Bush, told the Washington Post: "On trade policy, President Trump appears to be listening to advisers with views far outside mainstream economics". Why should the economic well-being of a few come at the expense of the many?

Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra said the tariffs are "a bad idea". A lot of others use aluminum.

Shortly after Trump took office, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a US technology think tank whose board includes representatives from top companies such as Apple, Amazon, Cisco, Google, and Intel, called for coordinated global pressure on Beijing. The Beer Institute, a trade group representing the world's largest brewers, estimates the 10 percent tariff on the aluminum encasing most beer sold in the US will push costs up by $348 million annually, threatening more than 20,000 jobs in the industry. Some countries subsidize their steel producers and allow them to sell steel at unfairly low prices.

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Moreover, there is a real question of whether the tariffs, based as they are on documented national security concerns, really do qualify as violations of US commitments.

Failure to do so "would give the impression to the European people that we are weak". "As President Trump has said, we hope for a successful completion of these talks, and we would prefer a three-way, tripartite agreement". "This process of tit-for-tat can induce at times trade wars that are in no one's interests", Azevedo said.

What happens to global growth if there's a trade war?

The debate over possible tariffs on China comes as the relationship between the world's two largest economies is fraying. To put that into perspective, that's about $470 billion - roughly the size of Thailand's output. If major economies raise a tariff barrier against the U.S., Korea's exports will be hit hard. Yet most trade spats end up without that kind of damage, and most in the survey were hopeful.

"However a formerly unreported February 27 letter sent to Trump by the American Automotive Policy Council, representing General Motors, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, cautioned that the metals tariffs" will include significant additional costs to the United States automobile industry each year".

For one thing, Vertical notes that the list of countries and products being exempted from the tariffs is "growing". Now priced at 18.8 times earnings, most analysts have U.S. Steel stock pegged for only mid-single-digits profits growth over the next five years - about 5.5% compounded, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.