Economy & Business

Trump Administration Slaps Steel, Aluminum Tariffs On E.U., Canada, and Mexico

Steel is loaded at a plant of German steel manufacturer Salzgitter AG in Salzgitter, Germany, March 1, 2018. Picture taken March 1, 2018. (Fabian Bimmer/Reuters)

The Trump administration on Thursday followed through on its threats to slap tariffs on major U.S. allies, ending exemptions from steel and aluminum tariffs for the European Union, Canada, and Mexico.

“We take the view that without a strong economy, you can’t have strong national security,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said as he announced the new policy in Paris. “The president’s overwhelming objective is to reduce our trade deficit.”

Mexico and Canada were exempted at first as the U.S. renegotiates the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But Ross said those exemptions had to be rescinded as negotiations “are taking longer than we hoped.” The new tariffs will go into effect on Friday.

Mexico, one of the top exporters of steel to the U.S., announced “equivalent measures” on “various products,” including flat steel, pork, sausage, fruit, and cheese in a statement. “Mexico reiterates its position against protectionist measures that affect and distort international commerce in goods,” the statement said.

The E.U. is also preparing to levy reciprocal tariffs.

“Today is a bad day for world trade,” said E.U. trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström in a statement. “We did everything to avoid this outcome.”

“We look forward to continued negotiations with Canada and Mexico on one hand and with the European Commission on the other hand as there are other issues we need to get resolved,” Ross told reporters.

The move caused the Dow to drop about 200 points over trade war-anxiety, but American steel and aluminum stocks rose slightly across the board.

The White House also on Tuesday imposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, which will kick in during the next month.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

The Second(-Class) Amendment

Editor’s Note: The following is the fourth in a series of articles in which Mr. Yoo and Mr. Phillips will lay out a course of constitutional restoration, pointing out areas where the Supreme Court has driven the Constitution off its rails and the ways the current Court can put it back on track. The first entry ... Read More
PC Culture

The ‘White Privilege’ Canard

Consider two Americans. One is named Mike. Mike is a straight white Christian male from a decaying industrial city in Ohio or Michigan. He never knew his father. His mother is hooked on painkillers. His home life isn’t great. Mom’s various boyfriends enjoy smacking him in the face. He gets passed around to a ... Read More

The Mad, Mad Meditations of Monsieur Macron

Almost everything French president Emmanuel Macron has said recently on the topic of foreign affairs, the United States, and nationalism and patriotism is silly. He implicitly rebukes Donald Trump for praising the idea of nationalism as a creed in which citizens of sovereign nations expect their leaders to put ... Read More

The White Plantation

There are two ugly and stupid lines of “thought” — it is generosity to call this that — in American politics that are inseverable, each being the inverted form of the other: the proposition that black Americans are held hostage on a Democrat-run “plantation” where they exchange their moral and ... Read More