President Trump announced on Thursday that he's going to impose tariffs on imports of steel (25%) and aluminum (10%). He has long called for these tariffs, saying America is being cheated by foreign competitors and its large trade deficits.
The big picture: Trump's announcement jolted markets, upset allies and led to rebukes from The Wall Street Journal and some congressional Republicans.
Winners and losers
Winners: Domestic steel and aluminum manufacturers avoid getting undercut on prices from abroad.
Losers: Companies that rely on steel and aluminum for production and services will face higher costs. Consumers could pay higher prices. Conservatives and free-traders are losing in their long-term effort to minimize tariffs and other import duties.
What's next: An escalating trade war?
- The sectors with the most to lose: construction, auto and energy. Here are the companies in position to take a big hit.
- How the stock market reacted
- Trump gets mixed responses from corporations
- Wall Street Journal: "Donald Trump made the biggest policy blunder of his Presidency"
- Conservative lawmakers grumble
- Rust Belt Democrats praise
- Jonathan Swan: Trump effectively promised a trade war on the campaign. Republicans can express their horror but not their surprise.
Inside the White House
- From Mike Allen and Swan: Trump has grown to especially hate Kelly’s rigid rules, so he purposely blew off Chief of Staff John Kelly’s process and announced planned tariffs in a haphazard way.
- Staff can try to impose their views on Trump. But when it comes to trade — the one thing he’s believed consistently for 30 years — they will inevitably fail.
- Staff to flee? Trump just completely circumvented the interagency process and is executing a policy chief economic advisor Gary Cohn and other free traders think is calamitous.
- A 24% steel tariff was recommended to Trump, but he increased to 25% because it's a nice round number.
- Trade is one of Trump's oldest consistent policy issues. In an Oval Office meeting last year, he told advisers: "I want tariffs. Bring me some tariffs!"