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Mon May 17, 2021, 11:18 PM

How Trump's Steel Tariffs Failed - WSJ Editorial

The U.S. and European Union on Monday announced a truce on steel and aluminum tariffs, heading off a June 1 escalation as the two sides negotiate over “global excess capacity” and a potential tariff repeal. That’s a small step forward, but President Biden would do far more good for the U.S. economy if he rolled them back unilaterally.

The evidence is overwhelming that Donald Trump’s tariffs have benefited the few to the detriment of the many. Consider the roughly 300 American manufacturers that wrote to Mr. Biden this month, protesting scarce metal materials and unsustainable prices. The bulk of the signatories were unsung industrial companies with names like Ohio Screw Products or Clips and Clamps Industries. “On some products,” they said, “American businesses pay 40 percent more for similar steel compared to their European counterparts.” Lead times have risen from six weeks to 20 weeks, “with some products not promised for delivery until 2022.” Mr. Biden’s big infrastructure plans could worsen the strain.

(snip)

Meantime, the tariffs hurt industries that buy and use steel, plus their workers and millions of consumers. A 2019 Federal Reserve paper estimated that higher steel prices led to a loss of 75,000 manufacturing jobs. As one example, Europe’s retaliatory tariffs on Harley-Davidson led it to shift some production overseas.

Another tariff analysis said that each new steel job cost consumers $900,000. Tariffs begat tariffs, as Mr. Trump tried to prop up steel makers further by levying (unlawfully, a court later said) additional taxes on metal imports like nails. Companies that couldn’t reorganize their supply chains, maybe because they needed specialized parts not available in the U.S., had to go begging—and politicking—for tariff exclusions from Washington.

Mr. Trump justified his tariffs by invoking national security based on an obscure 1962 law, which wasn’t a believable story at the time and still isn’t. His own man at the Pentagon said the military requires only 3% of U.S. steel and aluminum production. Mr. Trump’s protectionism failed by its own terms, and Mr. Biden won’t get a better chance to jettison it.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-trumps-steel-tariffs-failed-11621288859 (subscription)

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Reply How Trump's Steel Tariffs Failed - WSJ Editorial (Original post)
question everything May 17 OP
SunSeeker May 18 #1
stopdiggin May 18 #2
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin May 18 #3
question everything May 18 #4

Response to question everything (Original post)

Tue May 18, 2021, 12:40 AM

1. K & R

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Tue May 18, 2021, 02:22 AM

2. Thank you.

Can't wait to grind this under my -"well I think he did some good things"- neighbor's nose!

No! -- Even if he might have had a good idea occasionally (under the heading of 'even a blind hog finds an acorn every once in a while'.) -- he screwed up virtually everything that he touched! Even sugar turned to sh*t!

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Tue May 18, 2021, 10:10 AM

3. So much for the stable genius

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Reply #3)

Tue May 18, 2021, 12:38 PM

4. Or an unstable one..

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