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Trump Signs Proclamation Imposing Tariffs On Steel, Aluminum Imports

He declared the tariffs were in the name of economic and national security.

By Jake Jones | March 8, 2018

On Thursday, President Donald Trump signed two proclamations imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. 

Trump made the move in the name of national and economic security. A White House trade adviser says the U.S. needs access to those materials to build weapons of defense. 

The measures will impose a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum. 

Canada and Mexico will initially be exempt from the tariffs, with the understanding that the exemption is directly tied to North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations. 

The White House claims there will be no negative impact on the overall economy due to the tariffs, or any loss of jobs. That assertion differs from the 2002 tariffs imposed under President George W. Bush. That move resulted in a trade war that hurt the economy and a loss of roughly 200,000 jobs. Currently, the steel industry employs around 140,000 people. 

The European Union already signaled it would retaliate with tariffs of its own, targeting industries in Republican-held states. 

The tariffs will go into place in 15 days.