The Trump Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum, Are They Really That Bad?
By TLB Contributing Writer: Lora
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump sought to enforce a legal provision that imposes a trade tariff on steel and aluminum imports from China. This caused import prices to increase by 25 percent for steel and 10 percent for aluminum. Naturally, this sparked a near-panic among all those who belong to an industry that has anything to do with the use of these two metals in the manufacture of their products.
This includes the automobile manufacturing, smartphone and gadget manufacturing, and even the food and beverage industry where these two metals are essential in the manufacture of cans in which to store these goods.
While the reasons for Trump’s decision to invoke such a provision remain unclear, what is clear as daylight are the effects that this would have on the market as a whole. In an attempt to offset the additional cost of production, these companies are going to have to increase the prices of their goods as well.
But that’s not all that’s going to happen. Naturally, we’re also going to see inflation rates rise as well as interest rates. The real estate industry is also going to be affected by these tariffs, especially in the case of real estate developers that focus on building big apartments and condominiums which use more of these metals than the average American house.
No matter what angle you perceive the tariffs from, it all ends with the consumer taking the brunt of the pressure. Some experts even say that the tariffs might even cause another recession.
What are the Effects?
But, enough with the naysaying. The tariffs aren’t completely bad. While steel and aluminum prices are set to rise, so will their stock market equivalents. So, this might be an unexpected opportunity if you’re invested in the stock market.
Not only that, but the tariffs will also force manufacturers to find ways to avoid importing steel and aluminum. One song that all other articles seem to sing in perfect unison is that the trade tariffs might cost many Americans their jobs.
But it can also work the other way around. Instead of completely relying on China for their metal supplies, companies might instead opt for a more long-term solution—to open up new factories that are dedicated to producing these metals.
Naturally, people are going to be needed in order to work in these new factories, which also means that jobs will be generated. In fact, it’s already happening. Some companies have begun restarting idle mills in order to help contribute to the domestic production of steel and aluminum.
The other option would be to discover different alloys that have the same properties as steel and aluminum and are also abundant in the country. For this venture, molecular analysis processes such as x-ray diffraction would definitely be at the forefront of searching for better alternatives.
We can choose to look at the Trump tariffs as a major inconvenience or we can instead choose to adapt and to overcome.
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