Donald Trump’s tariffs have genuine merit that is often dismissed due to much of the media’s antagonism towards him, argues Matthew Walther of The Week. While criticism of such policies is usually legitimate, the current discussion has been overly one-sided. Tariffs have strongly boosted the steel industry. Independence in this sector is also vital for national security. The farming industry may have suffered, but it has long benefited from excessive subsidies. Companies are now more inclined to shop for things like steel locally than abroad. Tariffs and criticism of trade deals are extremely common in politics, yet Trump is criticized very strongly for them.
President Trump disregards the damage his steel tariffs are doing to steel-reliant industries, holds Veronique de Rugy of The New York Times. He is also motivated by interest groups within the steel industry that benefit from these tariffs on their foreign competitors. They have strong ties to his administration, which is a worrying example of cronyism. Meanwhile, sectors like construction suffer heavily; it is projected to lose 16,000 jobs because of the tariffs. Already 20,000 requests have been lodged by steel-dependent companies to be exempt from them. Trump’s policies will create jobs in the steel industry but are likely going to cut much more elsewhere.