“Mr. Trump has broad license to apply tariffs, quotas or both to steel imports… for security purposes,” writes Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. But the president’s efforts so far at protecting the declining American steel industry have been “toothless” and riddled with “plenty of mistakes,” Scott contends.
Those still trying to figure out how Trump beat Hillary Clinton may have more success listening to people like Paul than imagining a horde of racists who voted for Trump because they wanted an American Berlusconi. While Trump rarely disavowed support from fringe Alt-right groups during (and after) his campaign, he loudly boasted about the support he received from beleaguered workers in hard-hit American industries like steel manufacturing. While some cynically heard in “make America great again” (MAGA) a return to a falsely idealistic time when minority groups supposedly knew their place, people like US manufacturing advocate Paul thought MAGA augured a return to American manufacturing supremacy — or a least a return to American manufacturing viability. Harmful trade policies, Paul believes, are crushing US manufacturing in industries like steel, rendering them unable to compete.
Paul uses the op-ed to express his disappointment with Trump’s MAGA progress so far, especially concerning China on the steel issue. “Most disappointing,” he writes, “Mr. Trump has met with China’s president, Xi Jinping, twice without extracting a meaningful policy concession on that country’s blatant mercantilism.” China continues to flood the American market with cheap steel, Paul reports. And even “an executive order that promised American steel would be used for energy pipeline projects was toothless, as most of the purchasing had already taken place.”
— AISI (@aisisteel) January 18, 2018