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Trade war? Trump orders big tariffs on steel and aluminum, causing immediate controversy

Posted on Friday, March 2, 2018 at 11:06 am

(Associated Press)

Ordering combative action on foreign trade, President Donald Trump declared Thursday the U.S. will impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, escalating tensions with China and other trading partners and raising the prospect of higher prices for American consumers and companies.
With “trade war” talk in the air, stocks closed sharply lower on Wall Street.
Trump said firm action was crucial to protect U.S. industry from unfair competition and to bolster national security. However, his announcement came only after an intense internal White House debate. It brought harsh criticism from some Republicans and roiled financial markets with concerns about economic ramifications.
Imposition of tariffs has potential to affect costs for Steelscape, a 250-worker Kalama plant that coats and paints coils of steel for residential and commercial buildings. The plant is part of a joint venture between BlueScope Steel Ltd. of Australia and Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corp. of Japan. So the majority of its steel coil is imported from those nations, said Brian Jones, Steelscape vice president of marketing strategy and innovation.