My understanding is that Trump’s tariffs affect only steel and aluminum that is imported to the US. Not domestically sourced metals. The idea is to narrow the price difference so that US made metals can be more competitive in the American manufacturing industries. That’s my understanding, so far.
Is so, then if the cost of beer cans go up, that means beer producers have been sourcing cheaper foreign aluminum to make those cans. But how many American jobs are created if producers switched to American aluminum? If competitive pricing makes foreign-produced material less appealing, and other industries switch to “Made in America” products, isn’t that actually better for job growth, as mining and processing, distribution, assembly, marketing and administrative jobs ramp up to meet the new demands?
The only other way to make US labor cheaper is to pay workers A LOT less, get rid of benefits and bonuses that employers come out of pocket for, and to get rid of safety and environmental protections that deter cutting corners.
So, if we want to create jobs, we have to bolster reasons to create jobs. We have to buy more American stuff so that manufacturers have to hire more workers, right? We are already less inclined to buy American bc foreign products are simply cheaper to make and sell. Carrier recently made news bc of this. Detroit steelworkers make about $25/hr, which costs Carrier $25/hr. The same skilled worker in Monterrey Mexico costs Carrier about $4/hr. If it can be done cheaper, companies lean towards that. The same is true for supplies.
We cannot lower the production costs of steel in the US, the domestic industry has already cut as many corners as legally possible, to sell the metal as competitively as possible, and lose major buyers to India and Mexico, because those countries can produce cheaper. But if the cost is about the same, then buyers will find American steel more attractive.
Yes, that means we pay more. But, if we want to see more “Made in the USA” products, that’s the price we literally pay.
No, it isn’t this black & white. There are other factors. But ask any business owners how important labor and supply costs are to their ability to compete.
How else can we create more manufacturing jobs if we don’t neutralize our handicap against foreign sources? Trump schemes do not change the real dynamic of supply/demand. Real talk doesn’t get more real than this.