Senseless on Steel
Excerpt: The law gives Trump the authority to impose tariffs to protect national security. These tariffs are, however, an abuse of that law. The Department of Defense has explained that the military needs only 3 percent of our domestic steel and aluminum production, and our largest supplier, Canada, is an ally — albeit one that now has reason to be miffed with us. The steel and aluminum tariffs have undermined our ability to make common cause with other countries against Chinese mercantilism, and even aided China’s campaign to gain influence among them. Economically, we will pay for these tariffs twice over. Companies that rely on steel and aluminum will pay higher prices — and those companies are responsible for far more employment than the steel and aluminum industries themselves. For that reason, President George W. Bush’s steel tariffs were estimated to cost more jobs than they protected, as were President Barack Obama’s tire tariffs. There is no reason to expect happier results this time. And other countries are also imposing retaliatory tariffs on us.