President Trump has, at times, been willing to listen to others and developed a nuanced position. Other times he goes charging off like a bull in a china shop. In his decision to protect the steel and aluminum industries, he is ignoring everyone else and substituting his opinions for facts.
International trade is enormously complicated. Countries spend years to hammer out agreements. The goal should be a level playing field. We charge a 2.5% tariff on Chinese cars entering the US while they charge 25% on ours. Obviously that is not fair.
I certainly don’t have a problem with renegotiating trade deals. That is not what President Trump is doing. He has arbitrarily decided two industries should not have to compete in the free market. He has his facts totally wrong. Over 70% of the steel we use is produced domestically. I looked at a steel company headquarted in the city I live. Their sales are booming and last year they made more than the previous four years combined.
Ultimately everyone loses. Those of us not employed in those industries will see prices rise. This will disproportionally affect the poor and slow the economy. He has declared an economic war on the rest of the world. Our most irresponsible trading partner, China, already has so many sanctions that they only have 3% of the import market. The countries hurt the most include some of our good friends. Their retaliation will hurt industries dependent on exports. Even the steel and aluminum industries will ultimately lose. Protection from the forces of the free market will keep them from innovating.
He has made a huge mistake. I would like to think he will eventually see the error of his ways but reflection is not part of his makeup.