American-made steel versus the Chinese dragon

Monday, March 12, 2018
Chris Woodward (

Cargo ships at seaA plan by President Donald Trump to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum kicked off discussion and debate over his "America First" strategy. 

Tori Whiting of The Heritage Foundation says Trump has done a "great job" at promoting a pro-growth economy, citing his push for tax cuts and cutting regulations.

Heritage, in fact, reported in late February that Trump during his first year in the White House has embraced 64 percent of the policy recommendations by the conservative think tank.

"But the problem is that tariffs pick winners and losers," says Whiting. "And so when you're imposing tariffs that are going to maybe benefit in a positive way one area of the economy, but also cause harm in another, that's not a net win."

Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum. Canada and Mexico are exempted.

Trump signs steel importAccording to CNN Money, some U.S. companies that may be hit by Trump's tariffs include Boeing, Caterpillar, Campbell Soup Company, Whirlpool, Ford, and General Motors.

Writing about Trump's decision in his "End of Day" commentary, Gary Bauer defended Trump's policy against the "GOP elites" who have "lectured about the wonders of free trade," when thousands of U.S. jobs are gone. 

Bauer also notes that the steelworkers who stood with Trump at the White House this week (pictured above) are the Rust Belt voters who voted for him last November. The workers witnessed Trump sign officials proclamations on steel and aluminum imports. 

Meanwhile, Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government says Trump's policy is aimed at the Chinese who are dumping heavily subsidized steel and aluminum in U.S. markets. 

"And much of it is subsidized with money created by our trade deficit," says Manning, "that gives them huge amounts of cash and reserves to be able to do this kind of thing."

Chinese soldiers marchingThe goal of the Chinese, he alleges, is to artificially drive their American competitors out of business, making the U.S. dependent on China.

Asked how Manning and others can bring more people to their side of this issue, he says skeptics need to understand the need for a "level playing field," when China views its steel and aluminum as a national defense strategy to weaken U.S. steel campacity. 

"Because they know in order to build things, you need to have steel and you need to have aluminum," he further explains. "And if you can't get it from domestic sourcing, you're dependent upon foreign governments for your basic existence."

Trump with China president XiWhiting insists there is a better way, which is opening up trade, continuing the push for deregulations, and pushing other reforms that help the economy.

"Like reforming health care, which is a major regulatory burden on businesses, and other areas," she explains. "I think that jobs are great, and I think job creation is great, but I think the best way to create jobs in America is to get government out of the way and not for more barriers to be thrown up."

Whiting, a trade economist at Heritage, has written about Trump's tariff plan here and here.

At this point, Manning tells OneNewsNow, it's important to get the steel and aluminum situation stabilized while at the same time allowing deregulation and cutting taxes to take effect, improving the U.S. economy, too. 


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