Trump Admits His Steel Tariffs Aren’t Working

Trump doubled down and expanded his tariffs on steel and aluminum tariffs last week, in a clear admission that his original tariffs failed to have the desired effect, despite the White House’s repeated claims that steel tariffs were working perfectly and had saved the steel and aluminum industries.

For years, the White House has claimed Trump’s tariffs had saved the steel industry and were working just as intended.

Trump: “Your business was dead. And I put a little thing called ‘a 25% tariff’ on all of the dumped steel all over the country. And now your business is thriving.”

Navarro: “‘I think the bet [on tariffs] is paying off beautifully,’ he said. ‘We are very bullish on the steel and aluminum industries because of the tariffs. If they weren’t in place, those industries would be in very bad shape right now.’”

Navarro: “‘The tariffs are working beautifully,’ he said by telephone. ‘If not for the tariffs these companies would be in very significant distress rather than investing billions modernizing facilities.’”

Navarro: “Tariffs for the Trump administration have saved our steel and aluminum industry and brought billions of dollars in new investment into that industry.”

Now, Trump is doubling down on his steel and aluminum tariffs, admitting that they failed to produce the intended result.

The Hill: “President Trump on Friday signed a proclamation expanding tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from some countries.”

Politico’s Sabrina Rodriguez: “Trump acknowledged tonight that his steel + aluminum tariffs have not had the desired outcome b/c foreign producers are just circumventing the tariffs. To combat that, he’s now going to hit products partially made w/steel and aluminum (derivatives) with tariffs, too.”

Trump Presidential Proclamation: “The Secretary has informed me that domestic steel producers’ capacity utilization has not stabilized for an extended period of time at or above the 80 percent capacity utilization level identified in his report as necessary to remove the threatened impairment of the national security.”

Steel companies are laying off workers and shutting plants despite Trump’s claims that he saved the industry.

CNN: “US Steel is closing a mill near Detroit, laying off workers and cutting its dividend. The troubled company is trying to reverse operating losses it now forecasts for the fourth quarter. The mill, called the Great Lakes Works, is expected to close its iron and steelmaking operations by April 1. The part of the mill that rolls slabs into sheets of steel will shutter by the end of next year. About 1,500 jobs will be lost, the company said. US Steel had already announced a temporary layoff of about 200 workers at the plant earlier this year.”

Washington Post: “U.S. Steel announced it will temporarily halt production at two domestic plants despite the boost from the Trump administration’s tariffs, as a steel industry singled out for federal support shows signs of weakening. On Tuesday, U.S. Steel said it would temporarily halt operations at a blast furnace near Detroit as well as one in Gary, Ind., on the shore of Lake Michigan. U.S. Steel will be idling a third plant in Europe, the company said.”