President Trump has announced that the U.S. will impose 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10 % tariffs on aluminum imports. The main reason for this is that the U.S. trade deficit with China has largely increased, mainly due to the steel import from China. China’s steel production is extremely large and the low price of China’s steel has decreased the international price which is giving damages to the U.S. domestic steel industries. These U.S. import taxes will not be able to be applied only to China’s steel and aluminum products according to the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and therefore, it seems that these taxes will be applied to all countries’ steel and aluminum products. Since these taxes will affect Japanese steel and aluminum products, Japan has surely protested against President Trump’s announcement on import taxes. The EU (European Union) and China have also started to prepare the counter-measures against the President’s announcement.
President Trump’s policy on import taxes at this time is the economic aspect of his slogan, “America First.” The U.S. domestic affairs are important to him, and from this viewpoint, he has announced the policy which he hits on. Although his policy affects the international society, he does not care about the effects of such policy on other countries, because those effects are the second or third priority in his mind. Usually, the leader of a large country explains the policies justifiably and tries to gain his own country’s substantial interests, but in case of President Trump, he seems to decide his own policies as he likes, though it is easy to understand what he wants to insist. President Trump’s foreign policies which he hit on in the past has now covered not only the peace and security but also the trade and economy. This tendency will be more conspicuous toward the midterm election in the fall, this year in the U.S.
Nevertheless, I have been afraid whether President Trump is really capable as the President of the U.S. since he was elected, while I admire his spirit and actions as a leader.