By AFP Staff
It is not hyperbole to say that globalists are in a tizzy over the tariffs pushed by President Donald Trump on steel, aluminum, and other foreign goods. Tough talk over trade is resonating in many parts of the United States, however, where blue-collar workers and local shop owners have suffered for decades at the hands of multinational corporations and bought-and-paid-for politicians.
Since the passage of so-called “free trade” deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement in the 1990s, the United States has lost millions of good-paying jobs. Thousands more locally owned stores and manufacturers have been forced to close their doors, and the truth settled into America: Global trade was neither free nor fair for average Americans.
In trade deal after trade deal pushed by previous presidential administrations that were in the pockets of big business, the United States was forced to jettison any and all worker and industry protections while countries like South Korea, India, and China were allowed to keep theirs. Even wealthy European countries were allowed to keep their value-added taxes that make foreign goods more expensive and help local businesses and workers since, technically, they were not direct barriers to trade.
Then came Trump, who called the world’s bluff and initiated trade policies that put America—and its hardworking middle class—first.
Evidence of all of this came recently when Trump announced that the U.S. was placing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. Soft-handed executives from multinational corporations howled in pain, blasting the tariffs as violations of free trade. Undaunted, the Trump administration moved ahead with the plan, but not everyone is crying about it.
According to a recent report in the UK Guardian newspaper, steel workers in the Rust Belt say they are happy that Trump is following through on his campaign promise of putting America first.
Bruce Haines, a former US Steel executive, told the Guardian that the tariff was “long overdue.”
He added: “Steel and aluminum tariffs are necessary to protect from unfair dumped steel. . . . Like the tax cuts, only Trump has the balls to pull this off. In this case he is fulfilling his campaign promise to Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri, while also helping West Virginia and Kentucky reopen coal mines needed for steel, as well as getting the Minnesota iron ore mines back up and running—all employing the forgotten American worker that crossed the aisle to vote for Trump.”
The problem, however, is that many are wondering, after nearly four decades of free trade, if it’s too late for the tariffs to help U.S. workers.
“Many of my brothers think it’s about 30 to 40 years too late,” Larry Neff, who worked at Bethlehem Steel for 25 years, told the Guardian. “None of the older plants could be started up again, and many of the mills producing steel now are owned by other countries.”
You can read the Guardian article here.
Tell us what you think about the tariffs on foreign imports in the comments below. Are they good for America, or will they just lead to a trade war that will cost struggling Americans even more money?