WHO WILL BENEFIT?
(Jun. 13, 2018) — The gloves are off between America and Canada’s biggest hitters as the fall-out from President Trump’s steel shows no signs of letting up any time soon. Even the much-hyped Singapore summit between POTUS and North Korea’s unpredictable leader, Kim hasn’t distracted fierce opponents of Trump’s newly-announced (and potentially explosive) steel tariffs for long, as the post-G7 debacle continues to be played out between some of the world’s most powerful nations.
US and Canada’s War of Words Might Come Back to Haunt Both Protagonists
Geographical – and for a long time, political – allies and nearest neighbours, Canada have taken particular umbrage with the man in the White House’ uncompromising position on steel tariffs, with charismatic Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau said to be privately fuming at the proposals, while publicly maintaining his more polite, yet nevertheless robust, “Canadians are polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around,” perspective on the polarising topic.
Home-grown American Steel Firms Could Bear Brunt of Trump’s posturing
But with a possible trade war looming, what does all this rhetoric and posturing on the world stage mean to steel manufacturers back home; and will Trump’s divisive plans really work in favour of home-spun steel and aluminum companies (and more importantly, their workforces) whose livelihoods depend on doing what generations have been doing, that is, making steel products? One of which is Armstrong Steel, whose CEO once compared the rise of the pre-engineered steel building systems firm to the story of David and Goliath; citing how with just a few employees the company was taking on the big boys at their own game and how it wasn’t long before they were making their own impression on the steel scene both near and far to their Englewood HQ.
Stats Don’t Auger Well for US Steel Manufacturers
Not so according to some leading authorities, who warn that US steel jobs – and the sector as a whole – will also be put at significant risk if Trump carries out his idle threats. Researchers at the respected C.D Howe Institute scrutinised the 25% and 10% tariff imposing on both steel and aluminum which Trump is advocating with direct regard to Mexico, the European Union and next door neighbours, Canada at the time of writing. A study group determined that the result of such actions would be the loss in the region of 6,000 Canadian jobs, with the country’s GDP subsequently absorbing a projected 0.11% hit. Looking at the theoretical scenario in the President’s own back yard, and that job loss figure could amount to some 22,700, approximately; which in turn would mean a 0.06% reduction in forecast GDP. These stats are to be published in an impending paper, drafted by a couple of C.D Howe’s research associates.
In summary, this initial report on the envisaged state of affairs predicts that rather than giving Trump’s real target, China, a bloody nose as a consequence of his bombastic steel tariff proposals, instead they could ultimately, and somewhat perversely benefit from the ramifications, along with Japan, South Korea and the EU’s steel industries in light of global trading.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.