(What’s Left of) Our Economy: The Case for Trump’s New Metals Tariffs

RealityChek

President Trump has announced his decision to impose tariffs on U.S. imports of steel and aluminum – cue the trade war hysteria. And the national security hysteria. And the inflation hysteria. Here are some talking points I hope the administration will feel free to steal as it defends the decision in the days leading up to the release of the final tariff plan:

>Many countries have declared their intention to retaliate against the American tariffs with higher barriers to U.S. exports. Curiously, they are overlooking the Chinese government-subsidized overcapacity at the root of the long-time distortions in world steel and aluminum markets.

>Many of these countries want the problem tackled multilaterally. But the World Trade Organization (WTO) has failed to stem this overcapacity (or deal effectively with many other forms of Chinese trade and broader economic predation), and a G20 forum specifically addressing the steel issue has produced…

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