Alabama has steel and manufacturing, can it benefit from Trump’s pending trade tariffs?
Depending on what day it is, and what time of day it is, the president is either inviting or denying he is inviting a trade war without trading partner. Republican principles of free trade are in danger of being destroyed. House Speaker Paul Ryan is currently trying to figure out how to stop him, if possible. Alabama and other Red States could be dealt a blow if they don’t and a real trade war ensues, according to a CNN Money report.
“The top five states that depend the most on manufacturing, based on employment, all voted for Trump in 2016: Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin.”
Why this matters: Alabama is an exporting machine. We are sending automobile and airplanes all over the globe, free trade is benefiting the state of Alabama and restrictions will damage it. In theory, a tariff could help American steelmakers, because America-based automakers, even foreign-owned ones, use mostly American steel. Some of that steel is made in Alabama, but that only works if other countries don’t retaliate, and every indication is that they will retaliate, and that will hurt manufacturers and consumers alike.
— Trump plans to announce the plan for a 25 percent tariff on imported steel, and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum on Thursday.
— In the last two years the state exported $20 billion in goods, up 21 percent since 2011, and 50 percent over the past decade.
— Alabama has 57,000 employed in the auto industry.
— More than 60,000 Alabama jobs are supported by the steel industry.
Dale Jackson hosts a daily radio show from 7-11 a.m. on NewsTalk 770 AM/92.5 FM WVNN and a weekly television show, “Guerrilla Politics,” on WAAY-TV, both in North Alabama. Follow him @TheDaleJackson.