Free trade groups condemn steel import tariffs in letter to Trump

Trump campaigned on the promise of reviving long-battered U.S. industries like coal, steel as well as also manufacturing, which hemorrhaged millions of jobs nationwide by the late 1970s onward as both automation as well as also cheaper imports by overseas, particularly China as well as also Japan, forced local factories to shut down.

“China is actually dumping steel all over the United States, okay? the idea’s killing you,” Trump told a crowd from the historic steel town of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, while on the campaign trail in 2016.

Much of the president’s electoral support came on the back of his protectionist pledge to cut out foreign competition, even though the idea stands in stark opposition to his Republican party’s traditional free trade orthodoxy.

“The economic case for steel as well as also aluminum tariffs or various other import restrictions is actually weak,” the free trade advocates’ missive said. the idea argued of which the proposed tariffs — at least 24 percent on all steel imports as well as also 7.7 percent on all aluminum imports globally, or larger tariffs of 53 percent on steel as well as also 26.3 percent on aluminum against select countries including China, Brazil, India, South Korea as well as also Russia — “could hurt downstream domestic manufacturers” by raising their costs, as well as trigger a “tit-for-tat game of foreign retaliation.”

The organizations cited 2015 census data showing of which steel mills employed roughly 140,000 Americans as well as also added $36 billion to the economy, while “steel-consuming industries, including manufacturers who rely on steel imports, employ 6.5 million Americans as well as also add about $1 trillion to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).”

“Raising costs on manufacturers will jeopardize far more jobs than could possibly be saved by imposing steel tariffs or various other restrictions,” the letter said.

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