Trump breaking supply chain eggs to make trade deal omelets

Who knew trade deal bargaining chips were made of steel and aluminum? Apparently, US President Donald Trump did. Earlier this week Trump triumphantly defended his 25% global tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminum as key drivers in achieving recent trade deals for the leverage they provided. He took on opponents of his tariff strategy, calling them “babies” as many were fearful of starting trade wars, alienating longtime allies, wrecking well-established supply chains and raising costs for steel-using industries and consumers alike. Trump said the tariffs have been so successful he may not have to impose any new ones going forward — simply threaten to impose them to reach new trade deals. “Without tariffs, we wouldn’t be talking about a deal,” Trump said Monday while announcing the NAFTA-replacing US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). “Just for those babies out there talking about tariffs. That includes Congress — ‘Oh please don’t charge tariffs.’ Without tariffs, we wouldn’t be standing here.” Trump noted that the USMCA came on the heels of a new US trade deal with South Korea and the start of new trade negotiations with Japan. There were also bilateral steel-specific trade deals made with Brazil, Argentina and South Korea stemming from… continue reading

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