If you are interested in the issue, beyond using it as leverage to bash Trump, here is more info…
The Problem With U.S. Tariffs On Steel And Aluminum That No One Is Talking About – Forbes, 2018/03/05
Critics of the U.S. action have enumerated a number of reasons for concern, including the possibility of tit-for-tat retaliation from impacted trade partners, a further weakening of the WTO, domestic economic distortions in the U.S. as a narrow industry is protected at the expense of downstream producers, and ultimately, higher prices for consumers.
Most of these points have at least some validity, and some are entirely valid. All should be carefully weighed.
But at the same time there is another side to this coin which doesn’t receive as much attention. The simple fact of the matter is that a number of countries are undeniably engaging in unfair and even predatory trade practices in the steel and aluminum sectors which are damaging to their trade partners.
To put the magnitude of the overcapacity issue in perspective: experts maintain that the world needs about 400 million tons of excess steel capacity. Today, we have roughly 730 million tons. About half of that is in China, which has grown to be the world’s largest steel producer.
So Trump may be fighting a larger issue that goes beyond the simple relationship with other countries and the immediate impact that this would have on jobs.
Back in 2016, we put a bunch of duties and levies on Chinese steel because of their strategy to create an advantage for themselves by overproducing and lowering prices. The EU did the same thing last year.
China produces half of the world’s steel, and we now have an oversupply that’s almost double. If no action is taken, then they could likely increase their share of the world’s steel market and wipe out much of the international competition. Because of the levies and duties, we only import around 2% of our steel from China. However, they still import steel to all of the other countries and that has an effect on the global market.
There is going to be pain one way or another. Jobs would be impacted if the Chinese corner the overwhelming majority of the steel market. Jobs will be impacted if we rock the boat with these tariffs. It seems like the tariffs takes the short term pain now approach, instead of the long term pain of the Chinese cornering the market and forcing international steel producers out of business.
I am not an expert on this… I am just researching to understand the issue.