CNN: Trump could start a trade war this week




June 27, 2017 | By: Patrick Gillespie.

His administration could slap big tariffs on shipments of steel from other countries, claiming they pose a risk to national security. The tariffs can go as high as Trump wants — and could easily trigger retaliatory measures by other countries, hurting other American industries.

“This may be the most important trade decision that we’ve seen in decades,” says Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “It’s extremely significant.”

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is expected to announce the results of an investigation into steel imports. Trade experts and Wall Street investors are convinced it’s a foregone conclusion: Tariffs are coming. It’s just a matter of how high and against whom.

Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the European Union and Japan are among the top steel exporters to the United States. China, which Trump has criticized for cheating on steel prices, ranked 11th last year, and trade experts say it is a likely target.

One key question is whether the Trump administration will impose a tariff on steel from all countries or target specific countries. Another is whether countries will retaliate with their own tariffs on American products, including outside the steel industry — a trade war that could cost American jobs. That possibility alarms advocates for U.S. farmers. The American agriculture industry sends a quarter of its products to other countries.

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