Mar 2, 2018

The response to Trump's tariffs, from Congress, businesses, and abroad

Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

President Trump announced on Thursday new tariffs on steel (25%) and aluminum (10%).

Why it matters: Many around him have been strongly opposed to this, but as Axios' Jonathan Swan reported last year, Trump wants them and it doesn't look like anything will be stopping him. But the international response, as well as response from Republicans on Capitol Hill, hasn't been warm, and the Dow dropped 500 points as a result.

Corporate response
  • General Motors: "We purchase 90% of our steel for U.S. production from U.S. suppliers. We need to better understand the details...but the bottom line is we support trade policies that enable U.S. manufacturers to win and grow jobs in the U.S."
  • MillerCoors: "We are disappointed with President Trump’s announcement of a 10% tariff on aluminum...It is likely to lead to job losses across the beer industry."
  • Aluminum Association: "We appreciate the President's commitment to strengthening the U.S. aluminum industry. We look forward to working with the President on implementation and to create a more level playing field."
  • National Small Business Association: "This kind of tariff, while seemingly targeted, could have widespread implications and likely will result in increased prices of many goods."
  • The Beer Institute: "[T]his 10% tariff will create a new $347.7 million tax on Americas beverage industry, including brewers and beer importers, and result in the loss of 20,291 American jobs."
  • Toyota: Per Reuters: "U.S. tariffs on aluminum and steel will adversely impact automakers, suppliers, consumers."
Congressional response
  • Sen. Ben Sasse (R): "Protectionism is weak, not strong. You'd expect a policy this bad from a leftist administration, not a supposedly Republican one."
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch (R): "Whoever advised him on this ought to be reprimanded. In all honesty, it's not going to help America."
  • Sen. Mike Lee (R): "The tariffs proposed by the president this week would be a huge job-killing tax hike on American consumers...there must be a better way to address the steel industries concerns."
  • Sen. Bob Casey (D): "I commend @realDonaldTrump for announcing his intent to take action to protect our steelworkers from countries, like China, that cheat on trade...today's announcement of an intention to act next week is a welcome step."
  • Rep. Tim Ryan (D): "These actions will protect good-paying jobs in Ohio and across the country. This was long overdue."
International response
  • Canada: Trade Minister Francois-Phillippe Champagne said they were "unacceptable," and officials have said they will "respond...with their own measures," CNBC reports.
  • The European Union: President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said: "The Commission will bring forward in the next few days a proposal for countermeasures against the US to rebalance the situation," per the Telegraph.
  • China: Per CNBC, a JCI Intelligence analyst, Li Qiang, said earlier this week that China will apply regulations of its own "if the tariffs' cost to China exceed $10 billion."
  • U.K.: "We are engaging with the US on what this announcement means in practice... We are particularly concerned by any measures that would impact the UK steel and aluminium industries."

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