Case Download – Promoting national security through steel tariffs?


The case can be used in courses ranging from principles of economics, to international trade, to public policy and business (MBA) courses. The target audience is undergraduate economics students to graduate students. The expected complexity of the analysis will have to be adjusted according to the audience.



The U.S. Department of Commerce released its investigation into the impact on U.S. national security from imports of steel mill products. The report concluded that imports of steel poses a threat to U.S. national security due to the weakness of the domestic industry relative to global excess capacity. In response, President Trump adopted 25 percent tariffs on foreign produced steel. Under threats of retaliation many steel exporting nations are exempted, but China is not exempted.

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