Fletcher in the News

Will U.S. Become 'Least Favored Nation'?: Prof. Trachtman Comments on the Proposed Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum

Joel Trachtman

Protectionist voices in President Donald Trump's inner circle appear to have gained the upper hand.

It's an ominous sign for ongoing talks to modernize the North American and Korea free-trade agreements, with huge negative consequences for globally integrated industries such as autos.

And it underscores the fact that relations between the auto industry and the White House remain a volatile mix, with the sector benefiting from deregulatory and tax-reducing policies but ever at risk of a trade-related kick in the teeth.

Last week in off-the-cuff remarks, the president announced plans to impose tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum, going beyond the recommendations of his Commerce Department, which had sought to protect domestic producers with lower and more targeted tariffs, on national security grounds...

...And since the European Union and other trading partners have indicated they intend to retaliate or challenge the move at the World Trade Organization, industries that will be the target of retaliation, such as bourbon and agriculture, will join steel users in lobbying for restraint, said Joel Trachtman, a professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

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