What’s going on?
A penalty on steel and aluminum coming into the U.S. could be devastating for global trade and is likely to increase prices for American consumers. The European Union, Germany, Canada and other countries have threatened to retaliate.
What did Trump say?
As usual, Trump followed up his announcement by tweeting about it.
“When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win,” he wrote. “Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!”
How will this affect me?
Short version: Your money won’t go as far. Companies that use steel and aluminum will have fewer choices and higher costs and will pass on their extra expenses to you, the consumer. The auto industry is one example. Since automakers need steel and aluminum, they’ll likely be paying more to build cars and passing on that cost to people buying them.
On today’s show, Glenn called this announcement from Trump “the biggest blunder in his presidency” because it will hurt the economy.
“He sees this as a way to help struggling industries in the U.S., but it almost never helps,” Glenn said. “The data is clear: Protectionist policies only make things more expensive for consumers with few benefits for the protected industry.”
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: President Trump made the biggest blunder in his presidency yesterday, bigger than the NRA meeting that he had, because this one will actually affect the economy. And the economy is what keeps him afloat. Trump announced yesterday that his administration will impose a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.
The move has been debated inside the White House for months. And advisers have been split. But Trump is going for it.
He sees this as a way of helping struggling industries in the US. But it almost never helps.
For decades, the US steel industry has lobbied the government to help them compete with foreign steel. But the data is clear: Protectionist policies only make things more expensive for consumers, with few benefits for the protected industry.
Past presidential attempts to give the steel industry a boost has not gone well. In 2002, President Bush placed tariffs ranging from 8 percent to 30 percent on steel products.
One year later, there was so much international backlash and bad economic consequences, that he got rid of the tariffs. Top advisers warned about retaliation from other countries. The Defense Department warned about how this will affect close allies. But Trump was eager to make the announcement anyway. And in a room full of steel and aluminum executives at the White House, he said, you know, when it comes to a time where our country can’t make aluminum and steel, you don’t have a country.
Stock market didn’t take kindly to this announcement, the Dow dropped 500 points. They’re now saying that we are approaching a bear market. Some people are saying that in the next few days, the — the bears will take over, and we could drop anywhere. I’ve heard the kindest drop of 2,000 additional points, all the way to 5,000 points.
Companies that make products with steel and aluminum are not happy. Already warning about losses of jobs in those industries and increased prices for consumers.
Increased prices for consumers? Wonder where they got that idea. Oh, that’s right. That’s right. History.
Ben Sasse had a surprisingly strong reaction in a statement saying, let’s be clear, the president is proposing a massive tax increase on American families. You would expect policy this bad from a leftist administration, but not a supposed Republican one.
Why now? Perhaps Donald Trump thought it would end his week of bad press on a more positive note. I’m doing something for the American workers, but if that was his strategy, it is going to backfire.