Trump Trade Tariffs Are More Herbert Hoover Than Ronald Reagan

Bryan Riley, Director of NTU’s Free Trade Initiative, criticized the new tariffs levied by the Trump Administration today of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum.

“This policy is a major departure from the Trump administration’s earlier efforts to reduce the tax and regulatory burden on American manufacturers,” Riley said. “This is nothing but a tax on U.S. manufacturers who use steel and aluminum to produce in the United States. These tariffs will encourage manufacturers to create jobs -- but the jobs will be created overseas, in countries where governments do not restrict access to steel and aluminum.”

Riley noted that the tariffs take effect in just 15 days, giving companies little time to adjust to them.

“We need to pursue win-win trade agreements, not try to force our allies and trading partners to knuckle under to U.S. demands. As President Reagan observed, we too often talk about trade while using the vocabulary of war. But commerce is not warfare. Trade is an economic alliance that benefits both countries. Trade helps strengthen the free world and it is through trade that America’s strengths are reflected to her partners.

“President Trump should try to be more like Ronald Reagan and less like Herbert Hoover,” Riley said. “These new tariffs will drive up the cost of steel and aluminum in the United States and increase tension with our allies. They will make us less secure, not more.”