Thursday, March 8, 2018

DONE: Trump Announces Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum

Spouting silly mercantilist commentary at the White House, President Trump has announced tariffs of 25% on foreign steel and 10% on aluminum.

 -Robert Wenzel 


Trump to hold off tariffs on Canada and Mexico while NAFTA negotiations continue.


Tariffs will go into effect in 15 days. Others will countries may be exempted based on national security.


Trump just announced that a "reciprocal tax" is coming.


  1. got to get that money to the MIC.

  2. Just for fun, let's presume the National Security threat is real. That the Chinese Government is deliberately dumping steel in order to destroy/degrade the ability of US Companies (Their main geo-political rival) to produce steel domestically. Would this be a legitimate threat? What would your solution be? Bankrupt China over time by purchasing all their steel? How long would that take?
    I am firmly against Tariffs and trade restrictions, however I realize that realpolitik exists and I find this game of Empire extremely interesting. As far as I understand it, the Libertarian perspective is that if the US steel companies can't compete, they should go under. Is that not a legitimate threat to National Security if the US is unable to produce steel or has to quickly assemble a steel plant during an unexpected massive war.
    I'm interested in your thoughts from a realpolitik perspective.

    1. So, assuming you’re the US gov and you’ve determined that it’s critical to ensure a domestic supply of steel in the face of competition, it seems to me that tariffs would not be the best solution.

      For example, you could:
      -Directly subsidize domestic steel
      -Build a warehouse and stockpile a bunch of the cheap Chinese steel

      While I would oppose these measures as well, it seems like the economic damage they would cause would be much more limited than imposing tariffs.