Of all the whoppers told during the administration of President Donald Trump, perhaps the biggest was that importation of aluminum and steel from friendly European countries was a grave threat to U.S. national security.
The Trump administration used an obscure Cold War law to justify the tariffs on imports. Although new President Joe Biden can hardly be called a particularly strong exponent of global trade, he’s taken a positive step toward rolling back some of the misguided tariffs of the Trump years.
In 2018, Trump used the “Section 232” law to slap import taxes — for that is what tariffs are — on steel and aluminum. The European Union retaliated by imposing tariffs on a wide range of U.S. products.
The negotiations to lower tariffs worldwide are not going fast enough but a rollback of the European import taxes are a positive development.
In Louisiana, we know better than people in most states about the importance of freer trade. Our ports and railroads are dependent on trade; our export industries, from cattle to petrochemical products, require open markets abroad to be healthy job producers.
Alas, as The Wall Street Journal commented, Biden’s new actions do not settle the trade wars entirely. We agree, but this is still a good step.
The Journal said in its editorial, “With global supply chains stretched and prices rising rapidly in the U.S. and Europe, this is one trade spat that needed to end.”
Amen to that.