Steven E. White
On Thursday, the 1st of March, Trump passed a tariff that will take effect on Monday, the 5th of March. He placed a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum, desiring to boost American manufacturers rather than continue to trade ‘unfairly.’ The European Union and Canada have expressed sharp opposition to the tariffs, as they are the largest suppliers of steel and aluminum to the U.S; even though it is not completely clear that the tariffs will affect them, as of yet. Still, many assume so.
Jean-Claude Juncker spoke in a statement on the tariffs, “We will not sit idly while our industry is hit with unfair measures that put thousands of European jobs at risk.” The problem here, though, is that Trump was forced to take action on some front, regarding trade with Europe; as the overall trade deficit with them was around 173 billion at the end of 2017. Since 2014, the deficit hasn’t dropped below 160 billion. Clearly, trade with Europe has been unfair and one-sided. Like I’ve stated, action needed to be taken on some front, and steel and aluminum were good choices, as they are huge industries coming out of Europe. Though it is unclear and not for sure who exactly the laws will affect, there is large speculation that these two countries will, at the least, be affected by the tariffs.
Justin Trudeau, the current, and 23rd, Prime Minister of Canada, stated in a news conference, “Any disruption to this integrated market would be significant and serious. But that is why we were impressing upon the American administration the unacceptable nature of these proposals that are going to hurt them every bit as much as they are going to hurt us, and we are confident we’re going to continue to be able to defend Canadian industry.” Justin plans to engage with U.S. officials on the issue, though there is much doubt that Trump will give any leeway in the matter. The United States had a trade deficit of 17 billion at the end of 2017, with Canada. Much like Europe, though not as extreme, trade with Canada has been unfair and one-sided.
World leaders cry ‘unfair!’ when Trump places tariffs on their goods, while they hypocritically taunt the U.S. with similar tariffs that they, themselves, would cry about, should the positions switch. Trump has stated, time and again, that he merely wants ‘reciprocal’ trade; meaning fair, and equal trade. The Australian Trade Minister, Steven Ciobo, stated on Friday, in an interview, “This announcement is disappointing. An imposition of a tariff like this will do nothing other than distort trade, and ultimately…. will lead to a loss of jobs.”
From the looks of it, the only jobs that may be lost, are those in other nations. Jobs in the U.S. should be created, now that the steel and aluminum industries have been given an edge. Should Trump worry about jobs in other countries…. Or should he worry about America, only; its jobs and the horrendous trade deficit it has at the end of each year? He’s always stated that he would put “America first,” and he’s doing just that. Of course, the job creation and loss is largely speculation, for now. We will see what happens after the tariffs take effect for a little while.