Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Could Trump’s Tariffs Spark A Trade War?

President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with representatives from the steel and aluminum industries today and is expected to move forward with new tariffs on imported metals.

tariffsPresident Donald Trump has moved forward with new tariffs on imported metals, despite negative reactions from Republican lawmakers and manufacturers. However, he has reserved the right to make changes to the tariffs moving forward on a country-by-country basis.

Canada and Mexico will be at least temporarily exempted from Trump’s 10% tariff on imported aluminum and a 25% tariff on imported steel as NAFTA negotiations continue, and other allies could see reduced tariffs, according to Trump.

While the current trade balance may not be favorable to the U.S., updating existing trade agreements could help fix that imbalance without inviting a trade war of retaliatory tariffs or boosting prices for consumers.

“A trade war is not a productive path, so what has been proposed requires substantial revision,” Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Senior Associate Dean for Leadership Studies at the Yale School of Management told Chief Executive. “At the same time, there are some profound asymmetries which have been unfair to the U.S. and much of the west from China, and with unequal terms with Europe in key products. As with NAFTA, updating, rather than open war, is the way to go.”

“[Tariffs] are going to invite retaliation from our trading partners and allies, and they’re going to erase much of the benefit of tax reform.” – Global Automakers CEO John Bozzella

Lawmakers including House Speaker Paul Ryan have raised concerns over the tariffs, and are worried they could have a negative impact on the economic gains provided by the recent tax reform law.

U.S. manufacturers have also spoken out against the plan, including the automotive and beverage industry, which could be heavily impacted by tariffs.

Global Automakers CEO John Bozzella told Fox News that he is “very concerned” about the tariffs and what it will mean for auto prices and consumers.

“These tariffs will raise prices on American consumers for cars and trucks that are actually built in America,” Bozzella said. “They’re going to invite retaliation from our trading partners and allies, and they’re going to erase much of the benefit of tax reform. Tax reform benefits that would have been used to invest in plants and equipment now are going to be used to pay for higher steel and aluminum [costs].”

United Steelworkers International has shown strong support for the tariff plan.

“For the USW, the objective has always been to restore market-based economics that ensure that our domestic producers can achieve a fair return as they invest in facilities, equipment and people, and contribute to the strength of our nation,” United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard said in a statement. “The objective should also be to reduce the negative impact of steel and aluminum imports that have decimated production in the United States. The tariff levels the President announced will help to achieve that objective.”


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.