Despite his desire to help the ailing U.S. steel industry, President Donald Trump’s tariffs on foreign steel have had the opposite effect, according to Bloomberg News.
Those tariffs led to a dramatic increase in U.S. output at the same time the global economy was hitting a slowdown, dropping demand for steel. This in turn dropped prices, causing issues for many steel producers Trump aimed to give a helping hand.
Thanks to Trump’s tariffs, “U.S. Steel has lost almost 70% of its market value, or $5.6 billion, and idled two American furnaces in mid-June that couldn’t be run profitably at the lowest prices since 2016,” Bloomberg reported.
At this time last year, Trump was praising the results of his tariff scheme, telling the crowd at a steel mill in Illinois, “Workers are back on the job, and we’re once again pouring new American steel into the spine of our country. U.S. Steel is back.”
But those statements might have been a tad premature. Though imports of foreign steel have declined as desired, a new problem has arisen for some U.S. steelmakers.
Bloomberg notes: “With the stronger steelmakers aggressively boosting capacity to grab market share, a dip in demand has left older, more costly blast furnaces at U.S. Steel and AK Steel Holding Corp. struggling to compete, even with foreign steel nudged out of the equation.”