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U.S. President Donald Trump signs a presidential proclamation placing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
Image: U.S. President Donald Trump signs a presidential proclamation placing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. March 8, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

How Will Trump’s Steel Tariffs Impact the Prices on Your Shopping List?

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Image: U.S. President Donald Trump signs a presidential proclamation placing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. March 8, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Trump’s decision to implement steel tariffs will have an impact on certain commonly purchased products.

The U.S. President’s choice to deploy new tariffs will send prices higher on both sides of the Atlantic.

Aluminum and Steel Tariffs

Consumers on both sides of the Atlantic will be forced to pay more for the products they need due to U.S. President Trump’s insistence on applying tariffs to steel and aluminum. Both European and North American shoppers will be forced to feel the pinch from these new tariffs the president thinks will help to protect his own country’s industries.

The import levies started being applied to steel and aluminum from the European Union as of last Friday. This was the outcome of a decision the American president made last March. This occurred after the E.U.’s exemption from this type of tariff reached its expiry and was not honoured for renewal.

Struggling American Steel Industry

The American steel industry has been struggling for several years. An oversupply of steel in the country has forced prices to slide, damaging its local industry. The Trump administration is now attempting to apply tariffs to the steel imported from other countries in order to protect its own domestic industry.

That said, this move was not made without retaliation from the European Union. The E.U. is seeking to recoup the losses it is now facing due to the steel and aluminum import levies and has therefore applied tariffs to certain imports from the United States. The E.U. released a list of more than 100 U.S. goods upon which import levies will be applied. They include everything from motorcycles to orange juice.

Consumers Pay the Price

According to economists, after all the tariffs are applied, it is the consumer – on both sides of the Atlantic – who ends up paying the price. All the taxes applied to products being imported to their countries has placed an additional strain on retailers. Those businesses are then forced to hike their prices in order to make up for the added cost. Therefore, the average consumer ends up having to pay the cost of the American decision to try to protect its domestic steel industry.

Items on the E.U. List

Among the products affected by E.U. import tariffs from the United States will be:

• Florida orange juice
• Bourbon whiskey
• Jeans
• Corn
• Steel
• Cosmetics
• Pleasure boats
• Motorcycles

American Industries Affected

American industries using steel and aluminum are likely to face higher costs due to the import tariffs. Therefore, it is likely that prices will rise for U.S.:

• Cars, SUVs, Pickup Trucks
• Construction
• Beer
• Airline tickets
• Household Appliances.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alvexo on the matter.