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Metal Tariffs Haven’t Cost Jobs (Yet) – Bloomberg

Backers of the duties point out that jobs in metal-using industries are still growing.

Companies that turn metal into cars, cans, and other products have loudly complained that President Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum will harm them by driving up the prices they pay. The Beer Institute (a trade group, not a college, sorry) predicts that the aluminum tariffs will cost 20,000 U.S. jobs that depend on the beer industry. Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett told Bloomberg TV on Sept. 26 that the metals tariffs “took about $1 billion in profit from us.”

Funny thing, though. Employment in metal-using industries has risen since the tariffs went into effect last spring. Employment in fabricated metals products rose 1.44 percent from April through September, according to the jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released on Oct. 5. That compares favorably with the increase for overall manufacturing (0.70 percent) and the overall private sector (0.76 percent). In the machinery sector, another big consumer of metal, jobs increased by 1.29 percent over the period.

Those are the numbers. The question is what to make of them.  Read More…