Breaking — Trump tariffs announced

Controversial move roils markets

U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Wilbur Ross’ recommended steel tariffs, last mentioned on this blog a week ago, became an even bigger than expected reality today. At a meeting of aluminum and steel industry executives, President Donald Trump announced that steep tariffs will be imposed on steel and aluminium imports next week — 25 per cent on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminium,  “for a long period of time,” according to the President.

The announcement was a closely held secret, with the White House not even notifying top administration officials prior to the meeting, according to numerous press reports.

Stock prices of United States steel companies rose but other stocks fell sharply following the announcement. “By 13:09 p.m. ET, all the major sectors in the S&P 500 were down in response along with 29 of the 30 components of the Dow Industrial Average,” reported Yahoo finance.

According to the Wall Street Journal,

“The announcement was based on studies conducted by the Commerce Department, made public last month, which concluded metals imports had eroded the country’s ability to make its own weapons, tanks, and aircraft. But it came over the objections of Mr. Trump’s own Defense Department, which cautioned against a backlash from close allies like Canada and Japan.

“Mr. Trump’s announcement came over the objections of some of his top advisers, and surprised many in the White House who first learned of the plans from news reports Wednesday night.”

The final order is expected to be signed next week.


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