Donald Trump attracted criticisms last Thursday after going public with his plans to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports, but despite some intense reactions from prominent EU officials, the US government appears unfazed.
Image: Donald Trump
Amid the ensuing “trade war” which will most likely affect Bourbon, Live’s Jeans and Harley-Davidson, among others, a majority of the US administration has defended Mr. Trump’s move with conviction that it will protect American workers.
However, several industries that rely on steel to manufacture their products claim the tariffs will cost them a lot of money which may result in lay-offs and, consequentially, consumers will have to bear the brunt by paying more for goods.
Records from 2017 show Canada was the top supplier of steel imports grabbing 16 percent of the market while Brazil gained 13 percent, South Korea (10 percent), Mexico (9 percent), and Russia (9 percent), among other top suppliers.
“No, we’re not backing down,” Trump said in the Oval Office while speaking with his guest, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“We’ve had a very bad deal with Mexico, we’ve had a very bad deal with Canada — it’s called NAFTA,” the 71-year-old US President said.
In its defense of Mr. Trump’s executive decision, the White House agreed his intention to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum is a welcome development because those industries form America’s “backbone”.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, told newsmen that “the president feels strongly that we [government executives) have to protect some of the industries that are the backbone of this country.”
“We have to protect American workers,” Sanders continued, “we can’t ignore these industries…It’s a matter of economic and national security.”
While House Speaker Paul Ryan is urging the White House to reconsider the tariff plan, saying it could potentially erase economic gains that tax reform yielded, Sanders said on Monday that the plan to tax the imports are part of Trump’s agenda that he floated during his campaign.
“The president believes in free, fair, and reciprocal trade and hope other countries believe in the same,” Sanders added in her statements.
“Mr. Trump is doing everything he can to protect American workers and protect industries like the steel and aluminum industries that are so important to our country.”