A 10-Point User Guide to the Trump Tariff Wars



Robert D. Atkinson and Stephen Ezell | The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation


President Trump has announced plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from a wide variety of countries, on $50 billion worth of Chinese exports (including products ranging from aircraft to chicken incubators), and has floated the idea of placing tariffs on automobile imports as well. The president justifies all of this on the grounds that other nations are not acting fairly, because if they were then the United States wouldn’t be running significant trade deficits. President Trump recently tweeted that: “The United States is insisting that all countries that have placed artificial Trade Barriers and Tariffs on goods going into their country, remove those Barriers & Tariffs or be met with more than Reciprocity by the U.S.A. Trade must be fair and no longer a one way street!” Trump’s approach has drawn widespread criticism, sparking a debate in which partisans for and against the president’s policies have made all sorts of claims and counter-claims. This briefing untangles the prevailing arguments and sets the record straight on 10 important points of fact.


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