The United States may very well be at the beginning of a trade war with multiple countries. A trade war that will likely get worse before it even looks like it wants to get any better. A trade war that will likely have a drastic impact on some of the products every day Americans go to the store to buy daily.
BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) reports, Donald Trump will level steel and aluminum tariffs on three of the United States’ closest trading partners at midnight on Thursday, overruling his own party and stoking fears of a trade war.
American consumers will almost certainly be hit with higher prices due to the tariffs. Some major industries are already warning of mass layoffs due to the increased costs and retaliation from trading partners.
Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross announced today that the exemptions that had been placed on Canada, Mexico, and the EU that excluded them from United States tariffs until March, would now take place at midnight on Thursday. Mexico has already announced counter-tariffs on the United States. They will target American steel as well as food items like pork, sausage, apples, grapes, blueberries, and cheese. The EU has also said that it has “no choice” but to impose counter-measures against the United States. Canada has not yet said what its counter-measures will be, but an announcement is expected as early as Thursday afternoon.
The last president to attempt steel tariffs was George W. bush, back in 2002. He abandoned the thought a year later because the cost, from increased prices and job losses in related industries, outweighed the benefit to the steel industry.