In a bid to revive the U.S.’s iron and steel industry, President Donald Trump announced Thursday big new tariffs on imported aluminum and steel.
The tariffs, 10 percent for aluminum and 25 percent for steel, are set to take effect as soon as Monday.
Trump called the tariffs a “punitive” measure against foreign producers which he says were given an edge over domestic steelmakers by previous presidential administrations.
“What’s been allowed to you go on for decades is disgraceful,” he told industry executives. “And when it comes to a time when our country can’t make aluminum and steel and somebody said it before and I will tell you, you almost don’t have much of a country. Because without steel and aluminum, your country is not the same. We need it. We need it even for defense, if you think, we need it for defense.”
While some free trade advocates are criticizing the new tariffs, Trump said the White House made the decision out of national security concern.
“We need great steel makers. Great aluminum makers for defense. So, we will probably see you some time next week. We will be signing it in. You have protection for the first time in a long while and you are going to regrow your industries. That’s all I’m asking. You have to regrow your industries.”