Governments and industry leaders wake up today to confront the fallout of Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. Lobbyists have up to 15 days to convince the White House to change tack before the measures are officially implemented.
Incensed by the move, the European Union has signalled its intention to retaliate swiftly. Brussels has already released a very specific list of US-made goods to be hit with countermeasures. These include Harley Davidson and Kentucky Bourbon, which are produced in electorates dominated by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell—two of Trump’s most powerful supporters.
Investors have been spooked by the prospect that tit-for-tat tariffs may lead to an all-out trade war between the EU and America—the world’s two largest economies and supposed allies. While certain countries, particularly Canada and Mexico, may be exempt from the tariffs over the coming weeks, expect fiery rhetoric and volatility in the equity and currency markets as the world comes to grips with an ever more protectionist America.
Simon is the founder of Foreign Brief who served as managing director from 2015 to 2021. A lawyer by training, Simon has worked as an analyst and adviser in the private sector and government. Simon’s desire to help clients understand global developments in a contextualised way underpinned the establishment of Foreign Brief. This aspiration remains the organisation’s driving principle.