Latest US trade restriction beef pits farmers against steelworkers

It was one of 18 American agricultural associations that came out against President Donald Trump’s initiative to protect the domestic steel and aluminum industries under the US’ Section 232 national defense provision on trade. The July 11 letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross expressed extreme concern that application of the 1962 law “could be disastrous for the global trading system” and for US agriculture in particular. “US agriculture is highly dependent on exports, which means it is particularly vulnerable to retaliation,” the letter states. “Many countries that export steel to the United States are also large importers of US agriculture products. The potential for retaliation from these trading partners is very real.” Put another way, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association sees the initiative as anything but a nothingburger. The farmers’ protest was among several recent hits against the Section 232 investigation. The President’s Council of Economic Advisers, also this week, advised against putting tariffs and/or quotas on America’s most high-volume metals imports, saying they would not help the US economy, burden America’s consumers and possibly spark a trade war. They noted that any further restrictions would be in addition to the more than 150 antidumping and countervailing duties currently in

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