President Trump recently announced tariffs on imported steel at 25 percent and tariffs on imported aluminum at 10 percent. As predicted, free trade advocates instantly warned of global catastrophe, foreign retaliation, a trade war, and another Great Depression similar to the 1930s.
Simply put, these predictions of gloom and doom amount to absolutely nothing.
According to Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), “It’s a nice scare tactic, but Smoot-Hawley included tariff changes that impacted 20,000 categories of goods, and it was enacted by Congress at a time when the economy was nose-diving and the stock market had already crashed. It’s not a reasonable comparison to the current situation today.” Tariffs on steel and aluminum represent two categories or .01 percent of the categories from the Smoot-Hawley tariffs.
The United States is not starting a trade war. We are responding to a trade