Bill Kelly: Donald Trump’s tariff threat shows his ignorance of international trade

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with steel and aluminum executives in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Washington. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

For a guy who is supposed to know the art of the deal, U.S. President Donald Trump continually displays a troubling ignorance of international trade.

The latest example of this failing is his threat to impose significant tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, a move that even the conservative Wall Street Journal says will punish American workers.

Does Trump realize that it will be American companies that will pay that tariff on steel, which will drive up the cost of cars and trucks and farm machinery and other products?

Clearly, he’s ignoring the protests from the American auto industry and the United Auto Workers, who warn that the tariffs will cause job losses not only in Canada but in American auto plants as well.

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Trump says tariffs to be imposed on steel, aluminum imports

Simply put, to curry favour with the American steel industry, Trump is threatening the livelihood of thousands of other American workers.

Trump’s wrong-headed tariff plan would have a serious negative impact on the Hamilton-based steel producers at Stelco and Arcelor Mittel Dofasco and it certainly throws a hand grenade into the NAFTA negotiations. But Canada isn’t alone in its concern.

Both China and the European Union have threatened to begin a trade war with the United States if Trump follows through on the tariffs and that could have serious consequences for the American economy.

Trump’s track record is a series of bankruptcies and failures. It would be tragic if the American economy falls prey to his economic incompetence.

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Bill Kelly is the host of Bill Kelly Show on AM 900 CHML and a commentator for Global News

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