The Case For Trump's Steel And Aluminum Tariffs

What does it mean to put America first? Is that just a catchy slogan to win votes and sell t-shirts? Or does it mean that our leadership should actually put the interests of the American people ahead of other concerns?

When Trump gave his Inaugural speech, he vowed to put the needs of the American people first. Liberal critics were quick to complain. Some even compared his words to dictators like Adolf Hitler (big surprise, there). For some reason, liberals and anti-Trump conservatives were actually upset that he promised to prioritize American interests ahead of the international community.

All of a sudden, Democrats were worried about the rest of the world. At the expense of Americans.

Last week everyone’s cages were rattled when we learned Trump wanted to impose strict tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. The move would be an obvious boon to American industries. But, like clockwork, critics—including conservatives—started to panic. Suddenly, everyday people must be concerned with the steel industry.

President Donald Trump has told confidants that he wants to impose the harshest tariffs on steel and aluminum imports recommended by the Commerce Department, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Trump has said he wants to slap a global tariff of 24 percent on steel imports, the most severe of three options presented to him in a report in January. He’s also considering as much as a 10 percent duty on all aluminum entering the U.S., which would be more than 2.5 percentage points higher than the harshest of Commerce’s recommendations. (Bloomberg)

Even the Bloomberg article was quick to jump to conclusions. They were immediately negative, claiming that this would “spark retaliation” from China and allies like Canada. Yet passing tariffs on foreign products is normal. It’s just, in America, we’ve been used to being the world’s whipping boy for decades.

The idea of putting American industries first is so foreign, because the con artists in our government have been bending over backward for other countries for so long.

Critics of this move need to understand that, in the area of business, Trump has few rivals. Long before he was making political decisions, he was rising through the cut-throat world of Manhattan real estate. His competitors hated him. Why? Because he beat them time and again to become an international mogul.

As President, Trump has promised to put American industries first. That’s something we haven’t seen in a long time. Democrats claim to put working Americans first. Yet under Obama, many in Middle America languished. Republicans claim to be pro-business and pro-small government. But it seems the only businesses they care about neglect U.S. workers and exploit sweatshops overseas.

Trump is the first President in a long time to mean what he says. He made it clear that China and others have enjoyed an uneven playing field, dumping their inferior products into the U.S. Our government just let them do it, because it really didn’t care about U.S. workers or the quality of the goods being shipped here.

“You see what’s happened with our steel and aluminum industries. They are being decimated by dumping from many countries—in particular one, but many countries…”

“You have countries that are so over-producing and what they’re doing is they’re dumping it on us and you look at what empty steel factories and plants and it’s a very sad thing to look at. I’ve been looking at it for two years as I went around campaigning.” (Breitbart)

What Trump is trying to do is give American companies a competitive edge. Around the world, countries do this. European nations work very hard to protect their businesses. They are very aggressive about imports, especially ones coming from America. Many American businesses can’t even compete in Europe, because of the high tariffs.

This isn’t just Trump blowing smoke. A variety of trade goods from the U.S. are hit with E.U. tariffs.

Some customs duties are so prohibitively high they effectively cut off any trade; for instance, the US duty on raw tobacco is 350% and over 130% for peanuts…

For cars: EU duty on imports from the US is 10%. US duty on imports from the EU is only 2.5% (Factsheet on Trade in goods and customs duties in TTIP)

Why would the EU create duties on certain items coming from the U.S.? It’s simple: they want to protect their local businesses and economies. They understand that the markets can be thrown into chaos, should a similar product made elsewhere be sold at a much lower price. These tariffs make European companies more competitive.

Don’t Democrats constantly say we should be more like Europe? Let’s start with competitive tariffs.

It doesn’t look like the President is alone in his desire to pass tariffs, at least on Chinese steel.

Fifty-nine percent said imposing steel and aluminum tariffs was important, followed by 56 percent saying the same about challenging China’s leaders on intellectual property protection. Forty-four percent said it was important to label China a currency manipulator. (Morning Consult)

Plenty of people understand that we are getting whooped by China in the economy. That includes politicians whose states have suffered, thanks to the unbalanced playing field.

Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat who is running for re-election in a red state, expressed strong support on Tuesday for President Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs.

"Well, let me speak about the president's move on tariffs. I support (them) 1,000 percent.” (CNS News)

People with a stake in this issue side with the President. They are willing to accept an unpopular (politically), but necessary tariff in order to boost American industries. The people who oppose it seem only concerned with protecting global interests. But shouldn’t American leaders be more concerned with promoting American trade?

I just can’t believe anyone who is against modest tariffs on foreign goods. Perhaps 24% is daunting, but weighing all the factors, it might be the best number. The responsibility of American legislators used to be the well-being of the people who voted for them.

But in this day and age, we have Congressmen, governors, and politicians who care more about the people in Beijing than the ones in their own districts. All because major corporations are controlling their purse strings. Trump’s new moves are exposing the wolves among us.

If you ask me, these tariffs couldn’t come fast enough.

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