News analysis

Steel, aluminium tariffs are an own goal

They will threaten far more jobs than they will save and end up being a tax on US consumers

A warehouse at a steel plant in China's northern Hebei province. Mr Donald Trump's proposed tariffs may potentially induce some US manufacturers to offshore more of their production to countries where steel and aluminium prices are lower.
A warehouse at a steel plant in China's northern Hebei province. Mr Donald Trump's proposed tariffs may potentially induce some US manufacturers to offshore more of their production to countries where steel and aluminium prices are lower.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The politics of America's rust-belt has finally spilled over into the world economy.

Ever since his election campaign in 2016, United States President Donald Trump has been threatening protectionist action in the name of saving some of America's beleaguered smokestack industries.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2018, with the headline 'Steel, aluminium tariffs are an own goal'. Subscribe