Summary of US Steel and Aluminium Tariffs

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US Steel and Aluminium Tariffs summary


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US president Donald Trump’s economic nationalism took shape in early 2018 with his announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. These trade restrictions compel the European Union to confront the costs to European industry and determine its response. According to economist Uri Dadush, a hostile trade environment will force the EU to appeal to the World Trade Organization, which itself may be under threat. getAbstract recommends this complex yet accessible analysis to industry leaders and policy experts around the world.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the European Union may respond to the Trump administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum,
  • What options the EU has, and
  • How potential dispute resolutions could change the existing system of global trade.

About the Author

Uri Dadush is a nonresident fellow at Bruegel, a European think tank.



Claiming national security reasons, US president Donald Trump announced the imposition of a 25% import tariff on steel and a 10% import tariff on aluminum. These trade barriers would collectively affect European Union exports totaling more than €6 billion (US$ 7.33 billion). Over and above the tariffs’ direct costs, however, Trump’s national security justification could meaningfully disrupt the present rules-based system of global trade. The EU must consider carefully its possible courses of action. One is to impose immediate retaliatory tariffs on certain American products. But this choice would bring heavy losses to consumers and businesses in both regions. The rationale for a tit-for-tat response is to dissuade the United States from taking even more sweeping trade measures. But it would allow the EU to act quickly and forcefully in communicating to the Trump administration the consequential damages to the United States of its protectionism. 

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