This week, the wave of retaliatory tariffs in response to the Trump Administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs is cresting, posing a serious threat to industry in the United States and Arizona.
The administration’s latest provocation continues to prod the issue, potentially bringing a global trade war to a head.
The administration on June 1 extended steel and aluminum tariffs to Canada, Mexico and the European Union. Furthermore, this Friday, the U.S. will impose tariffs on $34 billion worth of imports from China, and China will impose tariffs equaling the same amount on U.S. goods.
This slew of tariffs comes down on $75 billion worth of American exports.
CBN spoke with John G. Murphy, senior vice president of international affairs policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, about the implications of an intensifying trade war.
“American exports from manufacturers, farmers, ranchers are in the cross hairs,” Murphy said. “At a time when the economy is doing so well, thanks in part to tax reform and regulatory reform, we’re very concerned that a trade war will overturn all of our progress.”
Murphy detailed the effect that the initial steel and aluminum tariffs have already had on the American economy, emphasizing that the price of steel and aluminum have risen by 50 and 130 percent respectively. For some in the manufacturing and construction industries, this huge blow replaces the benefit companies received from the landmark tax reform legislation passed late last year.
A recently released U.S. Chamber report examines the state-by-state implications the tariffs could have should they be implemented.
What’s on the line for Arizona? A potential total of $266 million of state exports would be threatened. From Mexico alone, Arizona’s largest trade partner, nearly $155 million worth of exports could be compromised.
These retaliatory tariffs would make Arizona-made goods more expensive, ultimately leading to a loss in sales and jobs. Currently, trade supports 772,800 jobs in Arizona, which would be in jeopardy if these tariffs come into play.
The effects of the escalating trade war are beginning to ripple throughout the American economy, something Murphy says we simply can’t let happen.
“Trade works,” Murphy said. “More than 40 million American jobs depend on international trade. We should be on the offensive trying to open up foreign markets for American exports. These tariffs and the resulting trade war are closing markets, and threaten the American economy.”