Scratching the surface, it may look bad economically. Digging deeper and his steel plan plans for a better future for America.
The United States used to be the king of steel. In 1945, the United States produced 72% of the world’s steel. Since then, the US’s impact on global steel production has shrunk tremendously as manufacturers have found it cheaper to outsource steel to other countries such as China. As a result, today, the United States produces just 5.3% of the world’s steel and is the largest importer of steel in the world. The President has committed to changing this trend. Since he took office, through the use of tariffs, subsidies, and other economic measures, the President has attempted to revive America’s failing steel industry. This plan for the steel industry has faced harsh criticism from across the political spectrum due to the potential drawbacks of such measures. However, when comparing the potential shortcomings to the probable benefits of the strategy, it is clear that the President’s plan to revive America’s steel industry will benefit Americans in the long run due its implications for job growth and national security.
Moving steel production back to the United States will result in higher steel prices due to differences in production costs within the United States compared to other countries, which will inherently hurt businesses and consumers. However, this is a short-term price to pay when compared to the long-term benefits it brings.
One positive implication of the President steel plan is that it will promote job growth within the United States. President Trump’s steel plan incentivizes production in the United States and as a result, will create jobs as numerous factories will reopen. Furthermore, these factories will also create thousands of jobs in the future.
Another beneficial aspect of the President’s steel plan is its potential impact on national security. Bringing steel production back to the United States will lead to a safer and more prepared America. Steel is an essential resource during wartimes and often times, without a reliable domestic steel industry, countries crumble during these times. In World War II, the resource was essential to mobilizing our war effort against the Axis powers. In Iraq, steel was important in building armored trucks, Humvees, and Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected Vehicles (MRAPs). Today, specialized steels such as titanium and nickel alloys have become important resources in the creation of everything from ordinary tools to modern day machines. From a strategic standpoint, it is necessary for a country to have a reliable steel production for the sake of not having to rely on other countries for steel. In its current state, the United States does not have a reliable steel industry and thus, is ill-prepared for a serious war. As the most powerful country in the world, despite our current peace status, the United States must be prepared for a global conflict. The President’s promotion of domestic steel production will leave the United States more prepared in the event of a war breaking out and thus, will leave our country more secure and better protected.
Another thing that makes the President’s steel plan even more appealing is that steel may become cheaper as a result of domestic production in the near future. When considering economies of scale, as domestic steel production increases, the cost of production will gradually decrease, meaning the price of American steel will go down and Americans will be able to buy their steel cheaper and domestically. Although it may take some time to kick in, economies of scale will make domestic steel production cheaper, and as a result, steel prices will decrease.
Rising prices of any good are always concerning and often should be opposed. However, despite the resulting rise in steel prices associated with it, Donald Trump’s steel policy should be encouraged, as the rise is temporary. Bringing back steel production to the United States will not only produce jobs but also ensure our national sovereignty and better prepare us in case a global war breaks out.
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