Donald Trump to impose import tariff on steel, aluminium



But the rationale of protecting workers by imposing tariffs "seems terribly misguided", Tom Porcelli, RBC's chief United States economist, said in a note on Thursday.

He has got some bipartisan support from lawmakers, mainly from America's rust-belt states, who believe the move will help revive the steel industry.

The tariffs are going to cost Canada jobs and threaten Canadian business investments, he said.

"Frankly, when you look at all the plants, the auto plants, automobile plants that moved down to Mexico for no reason whatsoever, except we didn't know what we were doing, ” Trump said".

Canada buys more American steel than any other country, accounting for 50 per cent of US exports, according to the Canadian Steel Producers Association.

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden said the American steel industry has been "under pressure" for decades from "unfairly" traded products from China and elsewhere.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has joined criticism of the plan, which would impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said, "the European Union must respond decisively to U.S. punitive tariffs, which endanger thousands of jobs in Europe".

Peterson Institute President Adam Posen called the perspective "straight up stupid" and said the tariff, which is meant to scare China, will most hurt military allies in Western Europe, South Korea and Japan. They laugh at what fools our leaders have been. They're concerned that tariffs would raise their costs of production and ultimately be passed on to consumers.

"We will put tariffs on Harley-Davidson, on bourbon and on blue jeans - Levis", European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told German television.

They were joined by can manufacturers, business groups and other industry in calling for the White House to reconsider given the potential damage to their industries.

Mike Day, president of the local United Steel Workers 5890 Union, says Trump's announcement should be concerning for everyone in the Queen City, not just people working in the steel industry.

Trump said the "disgraceful" treatment of USA steel and aluminum producers by other nations, especially China, helped lead to the decision.

Good indicators of whether tariffs might bring steel jobs back are U.S. Steel's Granite City Works in IL and AK Steel's Ashland Works in Kentucky, industry sources said.

If Trump follows through with the tariffs, the fallout could involve any number of products that Americans make, buy and sell.

Officials were unable to say immediately whether the tariffs would include imports from Canada and Mexico, Washington's partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which is being reworked. But large German automakers also have a sizable presence in the United States, with BMW employing thousands of workers in SC and Volkswagen employing thousands more in Tennessee.

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