Policy Issue Decision
One of the more urgent and business-consequential foreign policy facing the new President is what to do about the steel and aluminum tariffs, imposed by the previous administration in March 2018 on imports from all countries. The US imposed a 25% tariff increase on steel imports on foreign suppliers of annual steel imports of $10 billion or more, and a 10% tariff increase for aluminum. Briefly: the US imports steel from over 80 countries, but the top suppliers of 80% of imports are: Canada, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, Russia, Germany, Taiwan, Vietnam and Italy. The tariffs affect roughly 2/3 of all imports; imported steel overall contribute to roughly a third of all domestic consumption. As of today, only Canada and Mexico have been removed from the tariff list, while Brazil and Argentina agreed to quotas rather than face tariffs. The 2018 US policy to impose tariffs was based on US claims that steel imports were threatening US national security. While world trade rules allow countries to impose tariffs on national security reasons, it does not specify what constitutes national security. All US trade partners, including allies, rejected the US argument, and imposed retaliatory tariffs on US exports.
Discuss Japan’s steel and general bilateral trade with the US, and make a recommendation to the President whether to remove or maintain the steel tariff. Write an Op-Ed (thought-provoking articulation of a view or stance on a specific issue) to express views and try to influence public debate and policy making through compelling argument based on sound analysis, hard evidence, logic, and reason.
Don’t base it only on opinions, the more factual, data-driven, and logical the more compelling. Discuss the pros and cons, especially from the standpoint of business, market impact, and overall economic performance.
The Op-Ed must be structured in 5 parts as follows:
In the opening paragraph, clearly state your thesis and the general issues involved in the specific case.
Provide a brief background on the case, including trends in bilateral trade, especially after the tariffs were imposed; you may want to broaden the analysis to discuss overall economy-wide or sector specific positive/negative impacts
Identify and discuss three (3) reasons why you believe your stance or position is valid and better;
Identify and discuss three (3) reasons why you believe the position of others (or the specific policy) is invalid, unworkable, or unwise;
Clearly articulate your recommendation(s) for the policy to be adopted by the President