3. Retaliation Against America’s Exporters
As a result of the steel and aluminum tariffs, U.S. trade partners have responded or are in the process of enacting retaliatory tariffs. On June 5, 2018, Mexico imposed tariffs on about $3 billion worth of U.S. products, including steel, cheese, apples, and bourbon. Canada and the European Union are in the process of following with their retaliatory tariffs. If the automobile tariff goes into effect, the retaliatory tariffs from other countries will only increase. This will ultimately distance the United States from its closest trading partners and has the potential to start a trade conflict that will harm U.S. economic interests.
4. Misuse of National Security Designation
Section 232 is intended to be used to combat real national security threats—not as an excuse to be used to raise blanket tariffs on other countries The national security purpose of restricting steel and aluminum imports from our closest allies is not at all clear. In a Defense Department memo, the Secretary of Defense wrote, “DOD does not believe that the findings in the [Commerce Department’s] reports impact the ability of DOD programs to acquire the steel or aluminum necessary to meet national defense requirements.