steel and aluminum tariffs

Tariffs on Steel

and Aluminum



steel primary secondary
tertiary massive millennium
plural customer drive/drove/driven (2)
tariff consider backfire (2)
ally trade (2) retaliation
fear field (3) announcement
refer flood (2) corporation
fair (3) treat (2) trigger (2)
policy support most of all
weak horrible significant
sector target (2) turn of the last millennium
employ mean (3) protectionism
slap (2) level (2) level playing field
deal (3) right (4) aluminum
tough introduce follow suit
whisky bourbon countermeasure
protect threaten motorbike
levy lose out lose/lost/lost (2)





Video 1: Steel and Aluminum Tariffs, I

Video 2: Steel and Aluminum Tariffs, II



Trump’s primary target is China, and its massive overproduction of steel and aluminum, that he says drives down global prices, flooding markets with cheap products.

The US President’s planned tariffs however could backfire: China is considering retaliation.

And US allies like the EU and Canada, fear levies could be slapped on their steel exports too.

In his announcement, Trump referred to countries, plural, which could mean Trump’s meeting with US steel and aluminum producers may trigger a global trade war.

Donald Trump, US President: “We have with us the biggest steel companies in the United States. They used to be a lot bigger — but they’re going to be a lot bigger again. And we have the big aluminum companies in the United States; and they’ve been unfairly treated by bad policy, by bad trade deals, by other countries. They’ve been horribly treated by other countries.”

The American steel industry is significantly weaker than it was in the turn of the millennium.

Since then, more than fifty-thousand (50,000) have lost their jobs in the sector. The industry now employs just eighty-thousand (80,000) people.

Dave Burritt, US Steel Corporation: “We know what is completely unfair. We are not protectionists; we want a level playing field. It’s for our employees, to support our customers. And when we get this right, it will be great for the United States of America.”

The European Union introduced tariffs on Chinese steel a year ago; President Trump is following suit. If he introduces a universal levy against all steel producing countries, the countermeasures could be tough.

The EU for example is considering levies on American whisky, bourbon and motorbikes, like Harley Davidson. Brazil and Canada are threatening to protect their interests as well.

But consumers would lose out most of all, with higher prices for motorbikes, cars and liquor.

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1. Trump wants to impose tariffs on steel imports from China. Why is China targeted?

2. “In his announcement, Trump referred to countries, plural.” What does this mean?

3. Would China, Canada and the EU carry on as usual if Trump does impose tariffs on their steel exports?

4. Trump’s ultimate goal is to hurt foreign steel industries. True or false? Has the US steel industry changed over the years?

5. Do steel magnates agree with Trump? What do they want?

6. Would Trump’s tariffs on steel be unprecedented or is there a precedence?

7. How would the EU react to tariffs on their steel?

8. Tariffs would benefit everyone. What do the experts think?


A. Our country has (or had) a steel industry. Yes or no? Do people want a thriving steel industry? Do people want to work in a steel plant?

B. What do you think of Trump’s plan? I agree completely, I agree somewhat, I have mixed views, I disagree or I completely disagree?

C. Do you think your country should have complete free trade; barriers, tariffs and quotas or somewhere in between?

D. Do different people have differing opinions?

E. What will happen in the future?


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