It’s on like donkey kong.
After a day of uncertainty, The Wall Street Journal confirms that President Trump is expected to sign a new proclamation Thursday afternoon (at 330ET) outlining his plan to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum, according to a White House official familiar with the planning.
Critically, the US equity market ramped exuberantly this afternoon after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday there may be “potential carveouts” for Mexico, Canada and possibly other countries.
However, WSJ reports that officials said it was unclear whether that would be addressed on Thursday; Mr. Trump may take additional action later to give national-security exemptions on a country-by-country basis.
Invitations were issued Wednesday afternoon for the Thursday event, which will include industry executives and workers. There is no sunset provision for the tariffs or review period stipulated in the proposal, the White House official said.
Divisions also remain within Mr. Trump’s cabinet.
Critics have said the tariffs, issued under the guise of national-security considerations, will damage relationships with Canadian and European allies, slow economic growth and harm American metal-consuming industries.
But President Trump seems undeterred.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA), and 105 additional House Republicans today reinforced the need to take action against China and other unfair trading partners while expressing concerns that broad tariffs could harm America’s jobs, manufacturers, and consumers.
Upon sending a letter to President Trump, Chairman Brady said:
“We applaud President Trump for standing up against bad actors who trade unfairly and hurt America. We’re writing today to say: we stand with you in taking tough action to keep America safe and our economy strong. At the same time, we’re urging the President to tailor these tariffs so American businesses can continue to trade fairly with our partners, sell American-made products to customers all over the world, and hire more workers here at home.”
In the letter, the lawmakers wrote:
“We support your resolve to address distortions caused by China’s unfair practices, and we are committed to acting with you and our trading partners on meaningful and effective action. But we urge you to reconsider the idea of broad tariffs to avoid unintended negative consequences to the U.S. economy and its workers. We are eager to work with you in pursuing a workable, targeted approach that achieves our shared goal.”
Further, the lawmakers wrote:
“We are writing to express deep concern about the prospect of broad, global tariffs on aluminum and steel imports. Because tariffs are taxes that make U.S. businesses less competitive and U.S. consumers poorer, any tariffs that are imposed should be designed to address specific distortions caused by unfair trade practices in a targeted way while minimizing negative consequences on American businesses and consumers.
“We were privileged to partner closely with you and your administration to develop and pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Your leadership on these tax cuts, in combination with your regulatory reforms, have done so much to increase the competitiveness of U.S. companies and restore the United States’ position as the best place in the world to do business. We are convinced that the benefits of these tax cuts are only beginning, and we look forward to building on this great success as the benefits continue to spread to U.S. workers and job creators. But adding new taxes in the form of broad tariffs would undermine this remarkable progress.”
The lawmakers outlined several recommendations to hold countries accountable without disrupting the flow of fairly traded products that American manufacturers rely on:
“First, any relief should be narrow, excluding all fairly traded products and all products that do not pose a national security threat. Second, a robust exclusion process should be announced at the outset that allows U.S. companies to petition for and promptly obtain duty-free access for imports that are unavailable from U.S. sources or otherwise present extenuating circumstances. Third, existing contracts to purchase aluminum or steel should be grandfathered to allow duty-free imports and avoid disrupting the operation and finances of projects that are already budgeted and underway. Fourth, the effects of this remedy on our economy should be reviewed and reconsidered on a short-term basis to determine if a different approach would better serve the interests of our American workers, job creators, and consumers.”
CLICK HERE to read the full letter.