Screenshot/Fox Business Network
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 400 points on Thursday after President Donald Trump announced he will place steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports next week, USA Today reported.
The S&P 500 also declined 1.3 percent, while the Nasdaq composite fell 1.4 percent.
“We’ll be signing it next week, and you’ll have protection for a long time in a while,” Trump said about the tariffs during a meeting with 15 steel and aluminum industry executives. “You’ll have to regrow your industries. That’s all I’m asking.”
The tariffs will be 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum from all countries that send their metal to the U.S.
Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to defend the decision to impose the new tariffs after GOP lawmakers, including Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, blasted it for potentially increasing prices for U.S. businesses and consumers:
Our Steel and Aluminum industries (and many others) have been decimated by decades of unfair trade and bad policy with countries from around the world. We must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer. We want free, fair and SMART TRADE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2018
The president ordered an investigation into whether aluminum and steel imports posed a threat to national defense last year. Last month, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that imports did, in fact, “threaten to impair” American national security under a trade law called Section 232.
Ross suggested that President Trump place tariffs of 24 percent on all steel and aluminum imports from all countries, higher tariffs on imports from 12 countries, including Brazil, China, Russia, Venezuela, Hong Kong and Vietnam, or a quota limiting all countries to import only 63 percent of the steel and 86.7 percent of the aluminum they sent to the U.S. last year.