Our Taxes Just Went Up
Ever since the idea was initially proposed, I've been 100% against putting up import taxes on steel and aluminum. Taxing these resources will only make products more expensive across the board, and cause tens of thousands of Americans to lose their jobs. Any potential jobs saved in the steel industry will be overtaken by the losses in other industries.
Yet here we are, the tariffs have been signed and will be going into effect. It may take a little while for the effects to be realized, but they will soon enough. Consider just some of these products that use steel and aluminum, as each of them will become more expensive because of the tariff.
Pots and pans.
Gates and fences.
And don't forget infrastructure. The cost of constructing these necessities will increase. Expect to have that cost recovered from your wallet at some point.
Electric power lines.
Tariffs will impact my family, and yours, in very real ways. When we buy canned goods at the store, they will be more expensive. When we need to replace one of our cars some time in the near future, it will be more expensive. When we purchase a washer and dryer, it will be more expensive. When we are in the market to buy a house, it will be more expensive. Etc. Etc. Etc...
Steel and aluminum are natural resources that are critical to our economy, there’s no doubt about that. So why would making those resources more expensive help out in any way, shape, or form (outside of the steel firms themselves)?
Supporters of the tariff would tell me that it’s necessary for us to use more domestic steel because so much imported steel, especially from China, is a threat to our national security. What if, God forbid, we went to war?
But I did some digging, and the data tell a different story.
The United States imported just under $31 billion worth of steel from foreign countries in 2017. The biggest supplier of steel to the U.S. was not China, but the European Union. China only supplied just over $1 billion of that amount, 3.35 percent to be exact.
Is 3.35 percent of our steel supply going to cost us a war with China? Of course not! If one is being objective with the data, The national security argument doesn’t hold water. So why do so many people insist it's a good idea? It's like the laws of economics have been thrown out the (soon-to-be more expensive) window.