While some commentators are fretting about President Trump imposing tariffs on a flood of subsidized steel and aluminum imports, it’s helpful to note that President Obama took a similar stance. Not only did he espouse strong trade rhetoric against China in his 2012 State of the Union address, but he also imposed tariffs on steel, tires, and solar panels.
OBAMA TARIFF ACTIONS:
President Obama stated on Jan. 24, 2012: “I will not stand by when our competitors don’t play by the rules. We’ve brought trade cases against China at nearly twice the rate as the last administration – and it’s made a difference. Over a thousand Americans are working today because we stopped a surge in Chinese tires. But we need to do more. It’s not right when another country lets our movies, music, and software be pirated. It’s not fair when foreign manufacturers have a leg up on ours only because they’re heavily subsidized.”