Global Macro Service > Research Briefings > United States

Trump Section 232 tariff shock threatens US shortages

​US President Donald Trump has threatened to impose new tariffs on aluminium and steel imports of 10% and 25% to help support domestic producers. This will help to boost US prices for aluminium and steel, but the direct global impact should be limited given that the US is a small consumer and importer, particularly of steel. US metal-intensive industries will suffer due to higher input costs. However, the indirect impact from a trade war would potentially be far more serious for metal producers. Steel producers in Canada and Mexico will struggle to find alternative markets, given high transport costs for steel and a lack of fungibility and are more likely to cut back than aluminium producers.

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