The White House has been in chaos since Donald Trump took office. So far, he’s been the most controversial American leader in recent history. Now, he’s made another controversial decision and the world is once again reeling.
On March 1, 2018, Trump announced he was going to implement punishing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. He didn’t give many details, and Americans were left to draw their own conclusions. Keep reading to find out more about Trump’s latest move and decide if they might save the U.S. economy.
1. Trump made a decision
On March 2, 2018, Donald Trump took to Twitter to talk about his tariffs. He wrote, “When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore — we win big. It’s easy!”
“What’s been allowed to go on for decades is disgraceful. It’s disgraceful,” Trump said. Trump argues that he needs to implement the tariffs to save jobs and protect national security.
Next: The tariffs
2. Here’s how much the tariffs will be
When Trump made the announcement regarding the new steel and aluminum tariffs, he shocked the global economy. The tariffs he wants to levy are 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum.
Now world powers have an idea of what its been like working in Trump’s administration — they’ve had to deal with a week full of chaos, and it’s difficult for them to know where the president really stands.
Next: The market’s reaction
3. The market crashed
When Trump made the announcement about the tariffs, the market crashed. Meanwhile, GOP leaders had to deal with a second straight day of Trump handling things in an unorthodox way — he had just had a very strange meeting on gun control and next, he announced the tariffs. GOP leaders are frustrated — and registering their dissent.
Next: U.S. prices might soar
4. Some items could become more expensive in the U.S.
If the tariffs are applied across the board, according to CNN, it might raise prices for Americans on some items. The tariffs are slated to cover 100 imported items worth $60 billion annually.
That might make Apple’s iPhones and Lenovo Group’s ThinkPad laptops more expensive for Americans to buy. Even though both products were designed in the U.S., they’re both assembled in China.
Next: Comfortable with chaos
5. One expert speaks out
“We were told at the beginning of all this that Donald Trump was comfortable with chaos — that’s how he is accustomed to operate,” said David Axelrod, a former Obama administration top strategist, according to CNN. “That may be OK if you are running a small family branding business, but when you are in the most important office on the planet it can have grave consequences,” said Axelrod
Next: Tariffs — the downside
6. These tariffs could destabilize the global economy
Should a trade war ensue, it could destabilize the global economy and, U.S. stocks and growth might take a hit from reprisals by foreign powers — in other sectors than aluminum and steel.
Molson Coors Brewing Company chimed in and said that tariffs on aluminum could push up the cost of beer in cans and cause jobs to be lost. And Carlos Gutierrez, former commerce secretary for George W. Bush said: “There will be retaliation, there will be a response and I think it is extremely unfortunate. “This is most likely going to be a self-inflicted wound that will go on for a while.”
Next: People are enraged
7. America’s allies are angry
According to CNN, some of America’s top allies — particularly Britain and Canada, because Trump said their steel imports threatened U.S. national security — are furious about the new tariffs. Because he didn’t give any details when he made the announcement, many feel Trump was using the tariff disclosure to distract attention from a calamitous week at the White House.
“As a key NORAD and NATO ally, and as the number one customer of American steel, Canada would view any trade restrictions on Canadian steel and aluminum as absolutely unacceptable,” said Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said. She also promised retaliation if Trump puts the tariffs into effect. “We are engaging with the US on what this announcement means in practice,” said a UK government spokesman.
Next: White House fires back
8. White House spokeswoman says Trump wasn’t trying to pull a fast one
Sarah Sanders, White House spokeswoman, said that Trump was not using the tariff announcement to divert attention from the other disasters, according to CNN. She added that everyone knows Trump thinks global commerce — especially the way China practices it — cheats American workers
“The President is concerned about the men and women of this country who have been forgotten about, the industries that our country was founded and built on. And this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody,” said Sanders.
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