basketball-dunk-blue-game-163452.jpegMarch Madness was full of surprises this year including some awesome “Cinderella” stories (even my alma mater made a surprising appearance in the Sweet 16!).  In the end, #3 ranked Michigan State and #1 ranked Villanova will face off tonight to be crowned National Champion.  If you “gambled” with your bracket, you may be sitting pretty tonight but chances are, your bracket busted early on like the masses.  March also brought a different type of “gambling” to the world stage of “trade wars,” creating the metal and steel industry’s own “march madness.”As covered in last week’s blog post, the current administration’s new tariff bill is set to go into effect this month.  China announced it’s counter plan today by hitting back with tariffs on US imports worth $3 billion.  As reported by the BBC today, “China has imposed tariffs of up to 25% on 128 US imports, including pork and wine.  The tariffs affecting some $3bn of imports kick in today.  Beijing said the move was to safeguard China’s interests and balance losses caused by new US tariffs.”  The BBC went on to report, “The American authorities have already announced plans for further targeted tariffs for tens of billions of dollars of Chinese imports, which they say is in response to unfair trading practices in China that affect US companies.”
Research has shown that imposing tariffs hasn’t always played out to produce the gains the US hopes for.  But some believe this hardline approach has been needed to level the playing field, especially with China.  So what happens when a country imposes tariffs?  According to economist, William Hauk, “The general economic view of trade protection says that tariffs transfer money from a good’s consumers to its producers.” He goes on to say, “This transfer is usually economically inefficient because the benefits that domestic producers receive from a tariff will generally be less than the costs to domestic consumers.”
As all eyes will be watching the basketball players duke it out tonight to see who comes out on top, those same eyes will continue to watch the “tit for tat” between the US and China unfold on the global court.  However for this game, it will take some time before we see who emerge as the winners and losers.
 
For more information on the last time the US imposed tariffs on steel, visit: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-what-happened-the-last-time-the-us-imposed-tariffs-on-steel-2018-03-08

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