President Trump’s decision to levy tariffs on steel and aluminum has angered our allies, panicked Republicans, and sent his chief economic adviser running for the exit. But if Trump’s foray into what could be the opening stages to a trade war has much of the world biting their nails, his tariffs have pleased at least one expert in the market: U.S. Steel CEO David Burritt.
In an interview with CNBC this week, Burritt said that his company was on the verge of re-opening a closed steel plant due to Trump’s move.
“We’re really excited to be able to tell our employees in the community of Granite City, Illinois that we will be calling back 500 employees,” he said Wednesday.
Burritt said that two blast furnaces and steelmaking facilities have been sitting dormant since 2015.
“If you don’t have customers here to sell to and you can’t make money, you have to shut them down,” he said, assuring CNBC’s Squawk Box that much of the problem lied with unfair trade practices that discriminated against American manufacturers.
“This feels like the beginning of a renaissance for us,” said Burritt. “It’s really important that we get this right, and now it’s finally happening.”
He said there was no way to bring back a strong manufacturing sector without the kinds of tariffs that Trump has approved.
“You’ve got to be able to make stuff in the United States,” he said. “If you take away our ability to make things, you don’t really have a society.”
In a tweet Thursday, President Trump explained why a new approach was needed as it pertained to global trade policies.
“From Bush 1 to present, our Country has lost more than 55,000 factories, 6,000,000 manufacturing jobs and accumulated Trade Deficits of more than 12 Trillion Dollars,” he wrote. “Last year we had a Trade Deficit of almost 800 Billion Dollars. Bad Policies & Leadership. Must WIN again!”
Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, are determined to block the president’s plan and are busy complaining that the tariffs will ruin the economic gains the party attracted through the tax cuts. Of course, Ryan is ignoring the fact that he himself wanted to implement a border adjustment tax on ALL products as recently as last year, so his loyalty to unrestrained free trade is in some doubt.
We’re hearing a lot of crying and whining from companies that want to keep the cheap steel rolling in. We’re confident that those industries are going to be okay paying a penny more for their aluminum cans. Take it out of those massive tax cuts you just received. Have a little faith in the most business-friendly president in modern American history. This administration is not out to wreck the economy or go to war with our closest national security allies. Trump wants to correct the globalist philosophies of past administrations – philosophies that have ONLY helped the elite in this country while making other countries rich. He promised those days were over on the campaign trail…and soon, they indeed will be.