Publication Type

Steel, Aluminum, Lumber, Solar: Trump's Stealth Trade Protection

Chad P. Bown (PIIE)

Policy Briefs 17-21


The Trump administration has quickly adopted an aggressive and antagonistic approach to using US trade laws as a protectionist tool. The effect on trade relations may not be as immediately disruptive as if Trump had followed through on campaign threats to pull the United States out of the North American Free Trade Agreement or impose 45 percent tariffs on China. However, the escalating trade barriers and the means through which the Trump administration is motivating their use have the potential to severely weaken the rules-based trading system. Rather than blowing it up by simply withdrawing, the end result of the Trump administration's tactics may be that the World Trade Organization implodes from within.

Data Disclosure:

The data underlying this analysis are available here.

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