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Trump Announces Tariffs Populist Candidates Jump On Board

Yesterday, President Trump issued two presidential trade adjustment proclamations; one on steel imports and one on aluminum imports.

Steel tariffsContrary to the establishment narrative that the tariffs imposed were some kind of temper tantrum on the part of President Trump, the tariffs imposed were the result of Department of Commerce investigations finding that both steel and aluminum imports were at a level that threatened national security.

Specifically, the Secretary of Commerce found with regard to steel that:

…the present quantities of steel articles imports and the circumstances of global excess capacity for producing steel are "weakening our internal economy," resulting in the persistent threat of further closures of domestic steel production facilities and the "shrinking [of our] ability to meet national security production requirements in a national emergency."  Because of these risks and the risk that the United States may be unable to "meet [steel] demands for national defense and critical industries in a national emergency," and taking into account the close relation of the economic welfare of the Nation to our national security, see 19 U.S.C. 1862(d), the Secretary concluded that the present quantities and circumstances of steel articles imports threaten to impair the national security as defined in section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended. (You can read the entire finding and proclamation through this link.)

Likewise, the Department of Commerce conducted an investigation of aluminum imports that found that:

…aluminum is being imported into the United States in such quantities and under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security of the United States.  The Secretary found that the present quantities of aluminum imports and the circumstances of global excess capacity for producing aluminum are "weakening our internal economy," leaving the United States "almost totally reliant on foreign producers of primary aluminum" and "at risk of becoming completely reliant on foreign producers of high-purity aluminum that is essential for key military and commercial systems."  Because of these risks, and the risk that the domestic aluminum industry would become "unable to satisfy existing national security needs or respond to a national security emergency that requires a large increase in domestic production," and taking into account the close relation of the economic welfare of the Nation to our national security, see 19 U.S.C. 1862(d), the Secretary concluded that the present quantities and circumstances of aluminum imports threaten to impair the national security as defined in section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended. (You can read the entire finding and proclamation through this link.)

The result of the steel proclamation is that the United States will now impose a 25 percent ad valorem tariff on steel articles, as defined in the proclamation, imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico.  The President’s goal in imposing the tariff is to enable domestic steel producers to use approximately 80 percent of existing domestic production capacity and thereby achieve long-term economic viability through increased production.

The result of the aluminum proclamation is that the United States will now impose a 10 percent ad valorem tariff on aluminum articles, as defined below, imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico.  Similarly, the President’s goal in imposing the tariff is to enable domestic aluminum producers to use approximately 80 percent of existing domestic production capacity and thereby achieve long-term economic viability through increased production.

National security considerations aside, the President also made it clear that he was also taking this action to protect American jobs, making a finding that one of his goals was to revive idled facilities, open closed smelters and mills, and preserve necessary skills by hiring new workers.

In the race for Pennsylvania's 18th District seat in Trump country, Republican candidate Rick Saccone signaled support for some form of tariff on metals.

CNBC reports the reaction to the tariffs in parts of the district shows working-class areas may again react well to anti-trade rhetoric as Republicans and Democrats battle for control of Congress this year. Trump hopes his proposed tariffs can give Saccone an edge with blue-collar voters as the GOP tries to avoid losing in an area the president carried by 20 points in 2016, partly thanks to his pledges to crack down on unfair trade practices and protect American workers.

Saccone, a 60-year-old GOP state representative, "supports free trade as long as it's fair," his campaign said in a statement. If tariffs are required "to protect steel and aluminum jobs in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Rick would support those measures," the campaign added.

"I love it," said David Podurgiel, a 52-year-old Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, resident and vessel operations manager for coal company Murray Energy's shipping operation.

CNBC reported that at a Saccone event Monday at a VFW post in the town of Waynesburg, Podurgiel told reporter Jacob Pramuk that he feels the tariffs fit with the "America First" polices Trump pledged as a candidate. He noted that Murray's shipping business counts U.S. Steel, a major steel producer based in Pittsburgh, as a customer.

Jim McCaffrey, a senior vice president for coal sales at Consol Energy who backs Saccone, also told CNBC he thinks the tariffs could "revive the American steel industry."

Meanwhile, Mike Braun, the businessman and conservative outsider running for Indiana’s Republican nomination for the United States Senate quickly released a statement embracing President Trump’s trade announcements, saying “I support President Trump’s leadership on this issue. I’m for free trade just like the President is, but I think you need to call out bad players in the marketplace. For too long career politicians have let our trading partners punch us with no retaliation and President Trump is punching back.”

What do you think, was President Trump right our national security and workers require these protective tariffs? Please leave your comments below.

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PATRIOTISM

The way that far too many Americans throw around words like nativism, nationalism, protectionism, one would think that patriotism is no longer valued in America.
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All the above traits and other words describe the feelings that a true PATRIOT feels about their country whether you are a citizen of the United States of America or any other country.
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Those who attack others who have these feelings of PATRIOTISM are those who believe in the one world government, open borders and no meaningful definition of national citizenship.
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As the old saying goes be careful of what you ask for, you just might get it, all those who believe that there should no longer be separate countries with borders and meaningful definitions of citizenship just might find out that they will no longer be the leaders that will get elected to office, if there are still elections.

Patriotism

Well said. The only thing I can add is a quote from Cicero when Rome fell about the enemy within. That historic quote is still applicable today. We must learn from history as the fall of Rome was the time of the gap that lead to much upheaval in the old world order and those who tore down Rome were much the same as those who are after open borders and no democratic republic as that does promote nationalism. And after Cicero made this quote he was murdered by the enemy within. Obviously a dissenting voice was not welcome even in the days of Rome near its end. History is very important to remember even today.

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”

― Marcus Tullius Cicero