Beyond Stage One of Public Policy

The U.S Department of Commerce recently enacted a directive in which tariffs on Chinese steel products were drastically increased. An example of such a product is cold-rolled steel which is employed in the making of cars, electric motors and appliances. Tariffs on this product were raised by an astonishing 500 percent. Surprisingly, President Obama and Presidential aspirant Donald Trump both advocated for the move saying that it would help protect jobs in the U.S steel domain. Without a doubt, the initiative will save steel industry jobs within the state. Nonetheless, there is ignorance in looking beyond the initial phase of the public policy directive in that administrators have only considered the visible beneficiaries and ignored the invisible victims.

Daniel R. Pearson, in a Forbes opinion article (The U.S. And China Are Both Wrong On Steel), mentions that the “invisible victims” of the import restrictions are manufacturers that use steel as an input to provide value added products, while the visible beneficiary is the primary metal manufacturing domain. He states that the initiative can prove to be disastrous considering steel-using manufacturers contributed $990 billion to the economy in 2015 while primary metal manufacturers contributed only $60 billion.


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