WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will help workers in those industries and will not hinder economic growth, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) said Monday.
“I firmly believe that President Trump’s action on steel tariffs will help steel workers, will help our national security, will create jobs in the United States. I don’t believe that it will ultimately lead to a trade war,” Scott Paul told TMN. “You see these alarming headlines but the truth is that we have trade disputes like this all the time.”
“We had considerable trade disputes all the way back when Ronald Reagan was president on products like semi-conductors, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, steel and automobiles,” he explained. “We put tariffs up to 100 percent on some of these products. There were no macroeconomic impacts and it actually helped these industries to make some internal investments and become more competitive.”
Trump hosted a White House meeting on Thursday with representatives from both industries. Following the meeting the president announced that the administration soon would impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports.
Trump tweeted Monday that the administration would lift the tariffs following satisfactory renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said through a spokesperson on Monday that he wants Trump to abandon the tariff plan.
Many Republicans have expressed concern over the plan and several Democrats have offered praise.