(Washington, DC) — Donald Trump is proposing new trade tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Speaking at the White House Thursday, Trump said he’ll sign a 25-percent tariff on imported steel and a ten-percent penalty on imported aluminum next week.
The President vowed to rebuild the U.S. steel and aluminum industries in a meeting with industry executives. News of higher import tariffs sent stocks plunging on Wall Street. Asian stock markets are down sharply. Japan’s Nikkei led the sell-off that started on Wall Street after Trump’s announcement on Thursday.Falling stock prices are showing up in Asia’s automotive and tech arenas, as well as steel and aluminum manufacturers. The tariffs reportedly will apply to all countries that export steel and aluminum to the U.S.
The New York Times reports, trading partners are hitting back. They promised to retaliate against quintessential American goods like Kentucky bourbon, bluejeans and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
That is likely to turn into a wave of protest aimed at American products as other countries, including traditional allies, respond to Mr. Trump’s plan to clamp down on imports of metals from overseas.Canada, China and the European Union have already said they would respond with tariffs of their own that could lead to billions of dollars in American export losses. Those levies would harm the farmers and business interests that the Trump administration has promised to protect and would fuel a trade fight that could undermine the president’s goal of strengthening American industry.
Li Xinchuang, the vice chairman of the China Iron and Steel Association, called the president’s move “stupid,” saying, “Trump’s decision does no good to everyone except a few American steel enterprises.”
And John M. Weekes, Canada’s negotiator for the North American Free Trade Agreement in the early 1990s, said the president’s “notion is going down very badly in Canada.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 420 points to close at 24-609.