President Donald Trump Thursday unveiled his plan to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and ten percent on aluminum. The plan includes provisional exceptions for Canada and Mexico. However, the tariffs could trigger a trade war between the U.S. and the European Union and China, among others. Despite a large pushback by U.S. industry and trading partners, Trump is forging ahead with the plan that will go into effect in 15 days. The EU plans to retaliate and a fight at the World Trade Organization is also possible.
Agriculture and industry groups fear the retaliations will harm the U.S. export market, and the U.S. rural economy. Meanwhile, Republican Senator Jeff Flake is said to be introducing legislation to block the tariffs, part of what Politico calls a growing GOP effort to overrule the president on trade. A senior administration official says all countries impacted are “welcome to discuss” alternative ways to address the so-called national security concerns Trump is citing, implying nations can negotiate trade agreements with the U.S. to squash the tariffs.