…and now the Obama administration is going for a total ban on Chinese steel. Anyone paying attention to what could happen instead of what’s already happening is either ignorant or playing politics.
Donald Trump’s threats to hit China with protectionist tariffs of up to 45% on the goods it ships to the US go down well with his supporters on the campaign trail, despite ruffling feathers among free marketeers within his own party. Experts and commentators are less impressed, suggesting The Donald’s proposed trade war could cost US jobs and potentially trigger a global downturn.
What Trump and his opponents fail to acknowledge, however, is that the US is already engaged in a vicious trade battle with China centered on steel exports. China’s overproduction has decimated steel producers all over the world after the country upped its output from 128 million tons in 2000 to 822 million tons in 2014. American steel makers have already lost billions of dollars as a result of China dumping its steel exports on the US economy, while their counterparts in countries from Brazil to Britain have been left facing bankruptcy. Unsurprisingly, American and European steel mills are pushing their governments to take action. Continue reading