Donald Trump

Trump puts tariffs on steel and aluminium for EU, Canada, Mexico

Here's why this is slightly scarier than most economics news

He's only gone and done it. To the surprise of even his own party, Trump has put tariffs on steel and aluminium from the EU, Canada, and Mexico.

What it means: Trump says this is about 'national security'. He wants to protect American jobs and manufacturers, and redress the balance in trade between the US and its partners so that it's selling as much to them as it's buying from them (in economics words, that's 'closing the deficit').

Sadly, pretty much no-one seems to think this move is going to do much good for the people it's allegedly trying to protect. With these taxes, it's no longer going to be profitable for the EU, Canada, and Mexico to sell steel and aluminum to America. That's a risk to a lot of jobs involved in processing the steel they currently import. It also means Americans will probably end up paying around 10 per cent more for steel, because supply will be so low (so the little steel that's left is in high demand).

Plus, all of the targeted countries are retaliating with their own tariffs on American goods – everything from blueberries to dishwasher detergents to Harley Davidsons will have a big tax added to their price tag abroad, which'll be bad news for producers of those goods in America trying to make a sale.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?