World Bulletin / News Desk
The Dow closed Thursday at 24,608.98 after shedding 420.22 points over the course of the day, a 1.68 percent decrease from Wednesday’s close. At various times during the day, the Dow was down over 500 points from the previous day.
Investors appeared rattled by Trump’s announcement that the United States would begin next week imposing a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum. Trump said the tariffs would boost U.S. production and that the country had been victimized for decades by unfair trade agreements.
"What's been allowed to go on for decades is disgraceful,” Trump said at the White House. “It's disgraceful. You will have protection for the first time in a long while and you're going to regrow your industries."
The vast majority of aluminum used in products manufactured in the U.S. is imported, as well as about one-third of the steel.
Almost immediately after the announcement was public, politicians and trade groups slammed the idea. With so many products using aluminum, from cans to cars to sporting equipment, many worried the true cost of the tariffs would be paid by consumers.
"Imported aluminum used to make beer cans is not a threat to national security,” Jim McGreevy, the CEO of beverage trade group The Beer Institute, said in a statement Thursday.
“The largest importer of aluminum to the United States is Canada—one of America's strongest allies.”
Investors were very worried that the tariffs would trigger a global trade war.
Canada imports more steel from the U.S. than any other nation, buying 50 percent of all American steel exports. America’s northern neighbor said it would retaliate against the tariffs with its own protective measures.
“Should restrictions be imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum products, Canada will take responsive measures to defend its trade interests and workers,” Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement following Trump’s announcement.