On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced his intent to impose “steep” tariffs on imported aluminum and steel. This announcement has rankled many conservatives, who see this as violation of their free trade principles.
The administration is expected to raise a 10% tariff on aluminum and 25% on steel. Retaliatory tariffs and taxes are also expected. Trump was already facing criticism, as it might force the multinational corporations to seek out cheaper steel and aluminum outside the US.
Despite these concerns, Trump went ahead with the announcement, “We’ll be signing it next week. And you’ll have protection for a long time in a while.” He believes that this move will protect the producers within the U.S., Trump met with 15 aluminum and steel executives, on Thursday.
“You’ll have to regrow your industries, that’s all I’m asking,” he added.
The Dow Jones and Wall Street reacted negatively, which was reflected in the results when the market closed. The average of Dow Jones industrials dropped more than 500 points before it began to win back some of the losses, later in the afternoon.
Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the Senate Finance Committee Chairman issued a statement, “Tariffs on steel and aluminum are a tax hike the American people don’t need and can’t afford.”
The press secretary at the White House, Sarah Sanders, explained that the intent of the tariff is to protect American workers, and native industries from unfair trade practices from other countries – like China.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), was just one of a number of top Democratic lawmakers that praised the announcement.
“I want the president to move,” he said. “They’ve been talking about this and walked up to the edge for 10-and-a-half months now, causing more steel job losses, causing more U.S. companies hardship, lost revenues, lower sales, and look where we are.”