GOOD NEWS: Trump to NIX steel and aluminum tariffs on two allies!

Apparently Trump has finally made a deal that he’s happy with regarding steel and aluminum tariffs with two of our geographically closest allies:

BLOOMBERG – President Donald Trump Friday said the U.S. will lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico in a move that will help clear the way for ratification of the new Nafta.

The deal to lift tariffs takes effect no later than two days after the announcement, people familiar with the matter said.

Minutes before Trump’s announcement in Washington, Canada said in a joint statement that the U.S. would drop tariffs and Canada would drop retaliatory duties.

The move would lift the 25% steel and 10% aluminum tariffs the U.S. placed on the two trading neighbors almost a year ago in the name of national security. The decision sparked retaliatory duties from Canada and Mexico on U.S. farming goods and other products, and left the potential that lawmakers in all three nations wouldn’t ratify the new trade deal.

As part of the agreement to scrap the levies, the U.S. will be able to impose new tariffs on Canada and Mexico if they don’t do enough to prevent any surge of imports of the metals, the U.S. and Canada said in a joint statement Friday. The nations have also all agreed to ramp up efforts to trace where the metals have come from originally, to stop the diversion of shipments from other nations to dodge the tariffs.



Top Republicans are reacting to the news and they are quite happy about it:


Even Schmucky Schumer is happy about it:

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C.W. Smith
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C.W. Smith

Good.

sam
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sam

The US imports steel from 81 countries I believe. 2018 imports totaled almost $29.1B. Canada supplied 17%, China almost 4%.

Thor77
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Thor77

Good move … but does anyone know what is in the “New NAFTA” ? I get that US and Canada dropped the tariffs levied on each other since this started. But where is the endgame?

Paladin
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Paladin

Well this is the thing I was waiting to see. I supported Trump’s move because I chose to believe him that the tariffs were a negotiating tool and not a policy he planned to use in perpetuity. Listening to other commenters I was starting to get concerned Trump was a secret tariffs lover. Nice to know that isn’t the case.

Dr. Strangelove
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Dr. Strangelove

Trace where the metal comes from? All of the steel and aluminum I’ve hauled has had the origin molded, stamped or milled right on it. I remember a load of steel from Turkey once. Who knew we got steel from them, or they even manufactured it?

Abe Lincoln
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Abe Lincoln

Dr. StrangeloveDr. Strangelove I don’t understand, with all our natural resources, why we can’t supply all our own metal? We must be building faster than we can manufacture it?

Paladin
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Paladin

Abe LincolnAbe Lincoln We can supply ourselves given time. One of the biggest issues with the nations dumping steel and aluminum into our country is that US industries couldn’t compete so we didn’t have many mines and factories. With the leveling of the playing field US companies can make money which will allow the industry to grow domestically. This is one of the biggest reasons Trump was pushing tariffs. As Trump kept mentioning, if we don’t have domestic steel and aluminum, our ability to defend ourselves in a time of war is seriously harmed. The same goes for other industries.

Dr. Strangelove
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Dr. Strangelove

Abe LincolnAbe Lincoln That could be. The steel industry is depressed because of the monopoly we had after bombing Japan and Germany flat in WWII. The companies and shareholders didn’t spend the money to modernize while giving the unions sweetheart deals to prevent strikes. As a result, we couldn’t compete with the modern, more efficient mills overseas. In the early seventies I was a welder in the Boilermaker’s Union making just under 4 bucks an hour. A guy I knew who pushed a broom at the USS South Works and made around 7.

Our steel industry has made a recovery though, with smaller, decentralized plants in places like Butler, IN and Wilton, IA. Many of the mega-plants like USS in Hammond, IN have slimmed down and closed the unprofitable mills.

BlackR1
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BlackR1

Good Trump.

Placing a Tariff on Steel and Aluminum, two metals that LITERALLY EVERYTHING WE RELY ON IS MADE FROM, was NEVER a good strategy and while it enriched those two industries, it did so on the back(s) of we consumers.

Dr. Strangelove
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Dr. Strangelove

BlackR1BlackR1 Even with the ending of the tariffs, we could still see some inflation from products made from the metals imported during the tariffs. People don’t seem to be aware that it takes a while for these things to percolate through the economy.

BlackR1
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BlackR1

You’re absolutely correct. Tariffs are like underground earthquakes, meaning it takes a while for the tsunami to make landfall. Hopefully the impact will be minimal.

Dr. Strangelove
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Dr. Strangelove

One of our small business owners here has said that it’s affecting their bottom line already. I wish that I could remember who it was now.

Sentinel
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Sentinel

Trump is batting a thousand right now. If he keeps this up, he’ll be remembered as one of America’s better presidents and will probably easily win the 2020 election. Kudos to him!

Ciceroni Excogitatoris
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Ciceroni Excogitatoris

Hardest hit, China! They will not be able to dump their steel or aluminum in Mexico or Canada!

David Jenson
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David Jenson

Boom. 9th dimension chess.

Dr. Strangelove
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Dr. Strangelove

Ciceroni ExcogitatorisCiceroni Excogitatoris I heard that that’s part of the agreement, China has been dumping steel in Mexico and other countries.

sjmom
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sjmom

According to Grassley this will help farmers. That’s great news!

Dr. Strangelove
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Dr. Strangelove

sjmomsjmom Except for the soybeans part. The market for beans is so depressed that everyone is growing corn right now. You’d sort of think that Grassley, being from Iowa, would know this.

sjmom
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sjmom

Dr. StrangeloveDr. Strangelove Sometimes one has to wonder what the pols in DC really know about what goes on in their home state. unamused

Dr. Strangelove
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Dr. Strangelove

sjmomsjmom Yes, and Grassley spends a lot of time here. I think that he might be getting a little senile. (Not that I should talk.)

kong1967
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kong1967

Kinda puts a damper on people who claim tariffs don’t work. Apparently they can work. Short term pain, long term gain.

I was told just yesterday that Trump wouldn’t remove the tariffs. Oops.

Dr. Strangelove
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Dr. Strangelove

kong1967kong1967 They seem to be working here, but we have yet to see about China.

kong1967
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kong1967

Dr. StrangeloveDr. Strangelove Yeah, the big one. In any case it still shoots down the claim that they never work. They just might not work against every country. The good thing is that we have more leverage than China because they rely heavily on exports to the U.S.. Of course, they may be willing to suffer more and longer than us to wait it out.

I think the tariffs against the others are working because they are conditional and temporary. I still believe that applying tariffs as a practice to protect American businesses from competition is a bad idea, but that’s not what’s going on here. They can’t compete against a country that cheats and doesn’t follow the law. They ignore the WTO.

Dr. Strangelove
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Dr. Strangelove

kong1967kong1967 All countries have tariffs to protect their own products and crops. There’s nothing wrong with targeted tariffs here and there, but sweeping, blanket tariffs are a bad idea. It takes a while for the price hikes to trickle down to the retail level, even though Tromp is removing some, we could see prices rise and inflation as a result.

kong1967
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kong1967

Dr. StrangeloveDr. Strangelove We should probably prepare for a bumpy ride because Trump can really ratchet this up if he chooses. He’s not going to want to lose.

I have a nagging thought in the back of my mind. If Trump ratchets it up so much that China can’t keep up with retaliatory measures, what are the odds that it could start a war? I mean a real war.

Dr. Strangelove
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Dr. Strangelove

kong1967kong1967 War is possible. China’s expansionist doctrine is no secret. They are building a blue water navy, as well as claiming disputed areas in the South China Sea as their own.

kong1967
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kong1967

Dr. StrangeloveDr. Strangelove The South China Sea…..yeah, they’ve been at that for quite a while now. That itself could probably start a war.

The thing with China is that one bomb (on them) could kill a million people. Just saying. There isn’t any room to even pass gas (to be less crude).

Dr. Strangelove
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Dr. Strangelove

kong1967kong1967 China is a huge country with with a population spread across immense rural areas. We would be in more danger from “the bomb” than them.

kong1967
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kong1967

Dr. StrangeloveDr. Strangelove It was a joke, but you’re right.

Paladin
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Paladin

Dr. StrangeloveDr. Strangelove True and China will probably be the hardest and last one, if we’re successful. The encouraging thing is Chuck Schumer applauding the move and calling for all nations to gang up on China.

Dr. Strangelove
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Dr. Strangelove

PaladinPaladin Yeah, I was surprised that Upchuck Schumer came out on that side of the issue.

kong1967
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kong1967

PaladinPaladin I believe that’s going to happen. I read that a top EU diplomat said that they are waiting to complete negotiations between us and them and then they will join the U.S. in cracking down on China.

The bad thing is that China will probably try running out the clock on Trump’s term, and that means it’s going to be a long term battle. Trump is confident that it won’t be long term. I’m not.

C.W. Smith
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C.W. Smith

kong1967kong1967

I was told just yesterday that Trump wouldn’t remove the tariffs. Oops.

That’s not exactly what I said, but I will readily admit to being pleasantly surprised by this move.

I don’t presume to speak for any other Trump critics, but when I criticize Trump, more often than not I actually hope he proves me wrong. And if that happens, I welcome it. I suppose that probably doesn’t come across very clearly in my posts, so I thought it might be worth mentioning.

kong1967
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kong1967

AvatarC.W. Smith Fair enough, but it’s hard to see how it’s not what you said…..

What makes you think this is a temporary measure? I see people saying that all the time about the Trump tariffs, but I strongly suspect otherwise.

If they aren’t temporary, doesn’t that suggest that they are permanent?

I do like what you say here though.

C.W. Smith
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C.W. Smith

kong1967kong1967 I said I suspected they weren’t temporary; which is different from flatly stating that he “wouldn’t remove the tariffs”, with certainty. Ergo, to claim that you were “told just yesterday that Trump wouldn’t remove the tariffs” was in the general ballpark, but not exactly what I said…which is what I said. razz

In any case, I’m glad to have been wrong.

kong1967
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kong1967

AvatarC.W. Smith Gotcha.

He needs to hurry up and get things settled with Europe so they can join in on cracking down on China. Without their help China is just going to ride it out and it could be a long and painful failure in the end. It won’t matter if he succeeds with N. America and Europe. If he fails with China after a lot of sacrifice….he’s done.

Renny
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Renny

Don’t mind Canada, but Mexico has been behaving badly invasion-wise. If only they’d guarantee no surge in illegals or ‘refugees’.

Dr. Strangelove
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Dr. Strangelove

RennyRenny Agreed, that should be a condition of removal of tariffs.

kong1967
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kong1967

RennyRenny With Trump’s efforts to stop the flooding of our border, Mexico may be forced to deal with the mass migration at their own southern border or they’ll be stuck with them.

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