In a move that smacks of trade protectionism, US President Donald Trump on Thursday said that he has decided to impose a 25 per cent import tariff on steel and another 10 per cent on aluminium.
Not only that, the US president also made it clear that the import tariff will stay for a long period of time.
“It’ll be for a long period of time,” Trump told the media persons.
“We’ll be signing it next week. And you’ll have protection for a long time in a while. You’ll have to regrow your industries, that’s all I’m asking,” he added.
Interestingly, the representatives of Arcelor Mittal, owned by an Indian-origin business tycoon from Europe, were present when Trump made this announcement.
Dave Burritt from US Steel Corporation said that America is not protectionist but it needs a level-playing field.
“We are not protectionists, we want a level-playing field,” he said.
Burritt called it “the whack-a-mole game” in which US companies have to beat back foreign competitors with unfair trade practices.
Dumping, “destroys our companies and our jobs. People have no idea how badly our country has been mistreated... We’re bringing it all back,” Trump said.
Trump talked about washing machine tariffs and solar panels tariffs and asserts companies are opening closed plants in the United States.
He reiterated that he doesn’t blame other countries if other US leaders agreed to bad deals.
“Those people should be ashamed of themselves. Pretty much all of you will be immediately expanding if we give you that level-playing field. What’s been allowed to go on for decades is disgraceful,” the President said.
Trump said if a country can’t make aluminium and steel it’s almost not a country.
(With PTI inputs)