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US President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium has caused some consternation in free trade circles. It has certainly irritated the European Commission, with president Jean-Claude Juncker saying: “We strongly regret this step… a blatant intervention to protect US domestic industry and not to be based on any national security justification. Protectionism cannot be the answer to our common problem in the steel sector. Instead of providing a solution, this move can only aggravate matters.” He has promised some sort of retaliation.

Bloomberg has published a couple of articles, noting here that national security should not be used as a blunt trade tool. Here, however, it also argues that not only will it fail to hurt China, which exports very little steel to the US, but will also start all kinds of problems for the US’s allies and trade.

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