February sixteenth in the year two thousand and eighteen, the commerce department made recommendations that the United States should impose stricter import limits regarding steel and aluminum. The reason is to support the American industries, which are classified as vital to a nation during the conflict period. These recommendations come after “a 10-month investigation” on a statute that is barely used, which basically indicates its sole purpose is the protection of critical industries that are vital in times of war.  

According to NPR, President Trump announced during a meeting with numerous lawmakers, stating, “We cannot be without a steel industry…We cannot be without an aluminum industry. And so, what we’re talking about is tariffs and or quotas.” In addition, Trump, therefore, has until the month of April to act on this issue and decide on whether the United States will go for the tariffs or quota routes. Yet, several Republican congressmen state that Trump needs to tread with caution as there may be a retaliation resulting in a trade war. A trade War is a situation in which countries try to damage each other’s trade, typically by the imposition of tariffs or quota restrictions.  

Furthermore, several congressional members are concerned that this may also drive prices up for the many construction companies and everyday consumers that purchase and use these products. Additionally, too many congressional worries there are several members of the Trump Administration that see the program negatively affecting the United States instead of positively affecting the country. Moreover, the reason why Trump is making these claims for a change in current policy is that he is trying to achieve his campaign promises, which many have said were based on a protectionist platform. Additionally, Trump thus far has been modestly upholding these trade promises by the implementation of tariffs on foreign washing machines and what not. While Trump and his administration were actively participating in these exercises the United States trade deficit grew by 12%.  

Major playing card supporters of the tariffs and or quotas are using is that with the high amounts of cheap steel and aluminum being imported and the decrease in domestic production the ability for a military mobilization effort has severally taken a hit. Likewise, is that the combined percentage of industry employment within the confines of the United States has decreased to a whopping 93% [steel- 35%, aluminum- 58%). Therefore, these proposals will provide the necessary environment for the industries to run, as NPR puts it, “at 80% capacity, which the department considers necessary to ensure long-term viability.” Consequently, both Alliance for American Manufacturing and the steelworkers’ union celebrated these statements on making the domestic industries of steel and aluminum the major providers within the domestic market.  

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