Trump's Plan for Steel, Aluminum Tariffs Could Hurt Automakers

Detroit Free Press |

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump said Thursday he will impose heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminum that could increase American jobs in those sectors but also raise prices that could hurt auto suppliers and Detroit's automakers.

Speaking to more than a dozen steel and aluminum executives at the White House, Trump said he would sign tariffs of 25% on imported steel and 10% on imported aluminum next week.

"It'll be for a long period of time," a pool report of the meeting sent to reporters quoted the president as saying. "We'll be signing it next week. And you'll have protection. ... You'll have to regrow your industries, that's all I'm asking."

The president went on to say that dumping of cheap, imported steel and aluminum "destroys our companies and our jobs." He added to the executives, "People have no idea how badly our country has been mistreated. ... We're bringing it all back."

It was not immediately clear what imports would be subject to the tariffs and how long they might last. Two weeks ago, the U.S. Commerce Department released reports recommending high tariffs on imported steel and aluminum -- especially from

China and other Asian competitors -- saying dumping of cheap product threatened to impair national security.

As those reports were released, Steve Handschuh, president and CEO of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), a trade group for auto suppliers, said the recommended actions went too far.

"(T)ariffs of this magnitude would be detrimental to the motor vehicle parts supplier industry and the jobs it creates. ... It would reduce employment and increase costs to the consumer," he said. "Such costly remedies would impair the industry's ability to compete in the global marketplace."

The Business Roundtable group of CEOs and others, including many Republicans in Congress, argued that tariffs could hurt business and drive up prices, even as domestic steel and aluminum makers complained their businesses had been decimated by imported cheap steel.

Contact Todd Spangler at 703-854-8947 or at Follow him on Twitter at @tsspangler.


(c)2018 the Detroit Free Press

Visit the Detroit Free Press at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:


Emerging Growth

Cavitation Techs Inc

Cavitation Technologies Inc engineers and designs Nano technology based systems that have potential applications in industrial liquid processing.

Private Markets

iPRO Network, LLC

We provide the platform, tools, and resources to empower individuals and professionals to market desirable goods and services to the public, taking the place of traditional methods of commerce.


Voleo is a free download that allows you to form investment clubs with your friends, family, colleagues, classmates, teammates…basically anyone you know and trust. Invest and manage a stock portfolio…