“In April 2016, Donald Trump stood in front of supporters in Pittsburgh and declared he would bring the country’s steel jobs back. On Thursday, he returns to western Pennsylvania as a president yet to deliver on that promise.
While America will never again see mills like those that dotted the river valleys of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia 50 years ago, President Trump now has a chance to help stabilize a reeling steel industry and revive some of the employment it once offered.
The wheels are in motion. Three months into his presidency, Mr. Trump invoked a rarely used authority — Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which allows the president, after a review, to block imports that threaten national security — and promised decisive action in favor of the domestic steel industry by the end of June.
The summer instead passed without progress on the prerequisite review from the Commerce Department. Finally, with a deadline looming, late last week the Commerce Department announced it had completed its investigation and sent recommendations to the White House. The administration must announce a decision based on the report’s findings within 90 days.
With the report in hand, Mr. Trump has broad license to apply tariffs, quotas or both to steel imports. And he can do it safely: While there has been speculation about potential retaliation against the United States if it raises import restrictions, an exception in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade permits them for security purposes.”
Complicated issues. The comments are articulate, and mostly against the writer above.
Here is my favorite comment, which sort of supports the argument above for tarriffs, but is more specific.
I’m not familiar with steel manufacturing. There are many products in which we’re better off outsourcing. Though, from China’s behavior, that of dumping thousands of tons of steel on the world’s markets, it may be the right choice to offer protection for our steel industry. I’ve thought for quite some time that the way tariffs on manufactured goods should be calculated might should be based on the degree that foreign manufacturers regulate their industries. Let me give you examples. If, for instance, workplace regulations established by the US DOL and OSHA (regulations providing workplace safety and health) add 20% to the cost of producing steel in the USA, that 20% should be added as a tariff to importers of steel who operate with an unregulated workplace. We impose EPA Rules and Regulations on our manufacturers. The air quality in China’s industrial cities is horrible. Again, if meeting the EPAs guidelines adds 15% to the cost of manufacturing US steel, use that expense as an additional tariff to foreign imports which are manufactured in countries that impose no environmental regulations. Maybe my idea is too complicated but it offers sound reasoning for tariffs on certain products. In place of berating the gov. agencies that set regulations for our manufacturers we should laud them for their efforts. The way we can level the playing field with foreign imports is to use these regulations as a basis for the tariffs we impose on their products.