Tariffs Would Harm U.S. Economy and Could Spur International Retaliation, Experts Say

EVANSTON, Ill. March 8, 2018 – President Trump is calling for import tariffs on steel and aluminum, and he’s expected to sign the orders this afternoon at a White House event. Northwestern University professors are available to talk about how tariffs would complicate international relations and the United States economy.

Philip Levy teaches international business strategy at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Previously, he was a senior economist for trade for President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers. His research focuses on the political economy of trade agreements.

He recently wrote that Trump’s linkage of the tariffs and NAFTA has made two complicated policies worse.

“The President’s unswerving commitment to new tariffs on steel and aluminum has cost him his top economic adviser and threatens a global trade war.

“Difficult situations just got more difficult. With National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn on his way out — reportedly because he refused to pledge support for the President’s steel and aluminum tariffs — and the President elevating advisers who share his benighted approach to trade, it is hard to see how things are going to get better any time soon.”

Benjamin F. Jones is a Kellogg professor of entrepreneurship and strategy and the faculty director of the Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative. An economist by training, Jones studies global economic development, including the roles of education, climate and national leadership in explaining the wealth and poverty of nations.

“Raising tariffs will, on net, damage the U.S. economy, even if other countries don’t retaliate. If other countries do retaliate, it will be even worse. The Trump Administration is ignoring basic economics — and the painful lessons of history.”