The Trump administration’s effort to protect American steel producers via tariffs on steel and aluminum will likely backfire, costing the U.S. upwards of 400,000 jobs, according to an analysis by economics research firm The Trade Partnership.
As Quartz has explained, it’s true that steel producers in the US may see a slight rise in jobs due to tariffs. However, the (much larger) industries that depend on imported steel will suffer, like automakers, construction groups and even financial services. Just over 400,000 people in the US work in metal-producing jobs, economist Jed Kolko wrote in March, but 4.6 million work in jobs that depend on metal.
Employers in industries that use metal will have to pay more for raw materials, charge more for products, and could trim or move jobs. “Steel consuming industries face annual employment declines of 97,614 in each of the first one to three years the tariffs, quotas and retaliation are in place,” the Trade Partnership says.
The Trump administration announced on May 31 that Mexico, Canada and the European Union – all top U.S. suppliers – would no longer be exempt from the tariffs.
All three have stated their intentions of retaliating with tariffs of their own.