It has become a cliché to say that history repeats itself, but sometimes the phrase is troublingly applicable. After tariffs on poultry, and then tires, now steel pipes have drawn the ire of the Obama Administration. The White House announced on Thursday that the United States will now impose import duties as high as 99% on Chinese steel. It seems funny that the President would vow to avoid the evils of protectionist policy, yet escalate a burgeoning trade war with our second biggest trading partner.
The duty will have a dramatic effect on the cost of many manufactured goods, as well as fossil fuels. Big labor scored another victory in the fight against free and open trade. This is the second tariff to be imposed at the direct request of the bosses of the United Steel Workers, after last month’s tire tax. The Obama Administration claims to want to create jobs, yet they persist upon imposing barriers to trade that will drive up costs for employers, and inevitably lead to cutbacks, and layoffs. Unemployment is at a twenty-five year high, and continues to rise. Now, the price of steel will too.
Click here to read ATR’s press release