March 21, 2018

Canada's Trudeau tells metal workers 'we have your backs'

14 March 2018, 09:57 | Opal Carroll

Associations Issue Statements On Recent Steel And Aluminum Tariffs

Factbox: Trump's steel, aluminum trade tariffs, Mar 12

So, the U.S. should do the right thing rather than resort to trade war. Steel and aluminum are used to make consumer goods like cars, lawn mowers, and beverage cans. McKinsey & Company explain that most producers "lack the cash for investments needed to remain viable in the long run". They encourage American producers to hunker down behind the tax's protective wall, focusing on the captive local market instead of figuring out how to prevail in the rough and tumble of global competition.

A meeting in Brussels between Malmstrom and her USA counterpart Robert Lighthizer on Saturday ended without a breakthrough, as the European Union didn't receive assurances that it will be exempted from the metal tariffs.

A second person, who is an industry lobbyist in Washington familiar with the administration's thinking, said the process was being led by Peter Navarro, an avowed protectionist, and by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who also favours tariffs as a tool to rebalance trade. Should our nation's victory in war hinge on them?

"More American workers lost their jobs in 2002 to higher steel prices than the total number employed by the USA steel industry itself (187,500 Americans were employed by US steel producers in December 2002)", the report concluded. Tariffs artificially raise the prices of steel, causing modifications to tightly integrated global supply chains and companies to be less competitive in global markets. "We can not allow this to happen as it has for many years!"

Steel tariffs, however, don't follow this pattern. But in the short-term, things could become pretty ugly for the industries in need of those products today. This makes trade imbalances inevitable as the US government needs foreign investors to purchase its debt. Don't believe it. American workers are being stung by sucker trade - not free trade.

The tariffs come at a time when domestic steel producers' balance sheets are steadily improving. And we urge the U.S. government to do the right thing to protect free trade and to avoid using these trade protectionist measures against trading partners in the world. South Korea had actually requested that the U.S. exempt it from the new steel tariff, in consideration of the ongoing negotiations to revise the Korea-U.S. FTA and their bilateral alliance.

Li's comments regarding further production curbs is interesting. though, saying the steelmaking hub of Tangshan in Hebei province will extend production restrictions for another eight months after current curbs expire next week, according to the Reuters report. Making steel that way is like using the oven to bake a couple of cupcakes instead of a full batch.

Sen. Jeff Flake: Donald Trump needs conservative 2020 challenger
Top Wisconsin Republicans are not on board with President Donald Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs. Jeff Flake of Arizona threatened to introduce legislation to nullify the President's tariffs.

Steel production was certainly higher during the 1960s and 1970s.

Trump signed the 232 tariffs into law with two separate proclamations on March 8. In the early 1980s, the company was losing market share to smaller, more affordable imports from Japan. The price surged even higher on the tariff news.

The other bonus: jobs. But there is no doubt that China's practices have harmed the US manufacturing sector, and that Beijing works to block higher-value-added exports from the USA and is pursuing a comprehensive strategy to dominate in advanced industries. Not surprisingly, a quarter of lost jobs occurred in steel-consuming industries such as machinery and equipment, automotive and parts manufacturers. There's no concrete evidence that would happen.

President Trump's prospective tariffs on steel and aluminum have put renewed focus on China trade, although the tariffs are a comically inept misfire if their true target is China.

Trump points out how this has created America's huge trade gap with foreign countries. This free trade rhetoric is disguised anti-Americanism.

He said Canada and Mexico are exempt for the time being and other nations could also seek an exemption if they are willing to negotiate a trade deal that is more fair for American workers. He can't have both - and you can be sure China knows which option it prefers.

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