Trade remedies for steel and aluminum were long overdue

Robert E. Scott

Robert E. Scott Senior Economist and Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research, EPI

President Trump said today that he has decided to impose tariffs of 25 percent on all steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports, promising to sign the measures next week. Trade remedies for steel and aluminum were long overdue. Trump promised quick action after announcing investigations of the national security threats imposed by steel and aluminum imports nearly a year ago. Delays worsened the import crisis for thousands of U.S. steel and aluminum workers, many of whom are facing layoffs and plant closing announcements.

The crisis in steel and aluminum trade is driven by the development of massive amounts of excess production capacity, which has resulted in import dumping by China and a number of other countries singled out in the Commerce Department’s reports on its “section 232” investigations into the impact of imports of steel and aluminum products on national security. In its reports, which presented tariffs as one of three optional responses, the department found that unfair steel and aluminum imports “threaten to impair the national security.” In addition to China, other key countries identified in the Commerce reports included Brazil, South Korea, Russia, Vietnam, and 6 others in steel; and Hong Kong, Russia, Venezuela, and Vietnam in aluminum.

Now that the tariffs have been announced, the United States should work with other nations to develop coordinated responses to unfair trade in these products. This announcement should mark the beginning, rather than the end, of efforts to develop coordinated global responses to the problems of excess capacity in steel and aluminum trade.

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Reposted from EPI

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

A Fierce Defender of Truth and Classic Opulence

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös sees himself as the custodian of a hallowed brand — and woe be to anyone who dares dispute Rolls supremacy in the universe of ultra luxury. This past March, Müller-Ötvös lit into an Aston Martin exec who had the temerity of suggesting that the traditional Rolls design amounted to an outmoded “ancient Greece.” An “enraged” Müller-Ötvös, Auto News reported, fumed that Aston Martin had “zero clue” about the ultra rich and then accused other carmakers of stealing Rolls-Royce intellectual property. Last summer, Müller-Ötvös rushed to defend the $650,000 price-tag on one Rolls model after a reporter told him that his son wondered why anyone who could afford to “fly to the moon” would choose to buy a Rolls instead. Rolls patrons, the 58-year-old CEO harrumphed back, hold at least $30 million in personal wealth: “They don’t have to choose. They can fly to the moon as well.”

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