President Donald Trump is set to announce tariffs on Thursday, a White House official said.
The White House has considered tariffs on steel and aluminum, reports indicate. However, officials did not say Thursday what the president will specifically announce at 11 a.m. ET.
Tariffs on the metals would mark another step in the ongoing push for protectionist policies that helped Trump to win the White House. The president has repeatedly thrashed free trade deal struck by his predecessors and pledge to make trade more fair to the United States.
On Thursday, Trump tweeted that American steel and aluminum industries “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!” he wrote.
The decision over tariffs has pitted globalist elements of the White House, like chief economic advisor Gary Cohn, against more protectionist voices, like trade advisor Peter Navarro.
Steel stocks rose ahead of Trump’s expected announcement.
Last month, the Commerce Department recommended putting heavy tariffs or quotas on foreign producers of the metals. One of the possible options outlined in the report was a global tariff of 24 percent on steel imports.
As reports indicated Trump could move forward with tariffs, European Union and Chinese officials considered retaliating by targeting American products with political significance. Officials could take actions related to items like Harley-Davidson motorcycles, bourbon, or agricultural products.
Retaliation from China, America’s largest trade partner, could hit the U.S. economy hard.