President Trump is favoring a 24 percent global tariff on steel imports, according to sources reported by multiple media outlets. Trump’s pick for Section 232 aluminum trade restrictions is a 10 percent tariff on all aluminum imports.
The rumors are contrary to analysts’ expectations of a more targeted tariff on imports. Broad-based tariffs are likely to be met with retaliation by global trading partners.
“As with every decision he makes, the security of the American people and the American economy will be the president’s primary concerns while he considers his potential options,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement. “President Trump is committed to achieving fair and reciprocal trade relationships that protect the American worker and grow our economy.”
Last week, the Pentagon issued a memo warning against broad measures that would impact key allies and favored a limited tariff on known abusers of trade. Economic adviser Gary Cohn and national security adviser H.R. McMaster are said to be against any action.
Although steel imports from China to the U.S. have dropped dramatically, the nation continues to be at the center of trade acrimony regarding steel overcapacity and alleged transshipment abuse. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is expected to meet with senior Chinese economic adviser Liu He next week in Washington to discuss trade disputes.
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