President Trump Tries on a Trade War

TrumpCPAC, cc Flickr Gage Skidmore, modified,


President Trump has announced that his administration will be imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports of 25% and 10% respectively. In doing so he follows through on one of his core campaign promises, much to the frustration of pro-trade figures in his administration like Gary Cohn, who has resigned from his advisory position as of Tuesday evening.

Details on the tariffs remain scant, including the matter of whether they will be targeted at certain countries or apply across the board, as is currently being assumed. Yet this lack of details has not stopped other governments from threatening their own retaliatory measures against the Trump tariffs. Chief among them was the European Union, which threatened to target iconic US exports such as Kentucky bourbon, Harley Davidson motorcycles, and Levis jeans. Trump has responded in turn by threatening a 25% tax on European automobile imports should Brussels follow through on its threat.

So far it’s all playing out as one might expect: like a typical trade war.


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