International: Protectionism

U.S. imposes tariffs on aluminum and steel
On March 1, the President of United States, Donald Trump, fired the starting gun to a wave of protectionism. As soon as he announced to slap an import tariff of 10 % on imported aluminum and of 25 % on imported steel, America’s major trading partner, including the European Union, declared that they would not accept such a policy and were ready to retaliate. Trump, in return, threatened to widen his protectionist policy and expand his tariff policy on the import of cars.
Trump’s intervention comes at a time, when higher interest rate, inflation, and a widening budget deficit are in the making. Protectionism would the fourth horseman to complete the group of the apocalyptic riders.
The U.S-administration blames ‘unfair’ trade practices as the reason for its policy. President Trump tweeted the day after his announcement to impose tariffs that “(o)ur Steel and Aluminum industries (and many others) have been decimated by decades of unfair trade and bad policy with countries from around the world. We must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer. We want free, fair and SMART TRADE!” Protectionism would mean the end of a policy that has been in place among the industrialized countries and for a large part of the developing countries since the end of World War II. The spread of protectionism would not only be a shift of policies but a major change.
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