Economic PolicyAmerican Government

Trump Considers Steel, Aluminum Tariffs

Posted on in Economic Policy · American Government

Last week, President Trump announced the possibility of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. This led many commentators to discuss an impending trade war. This week’s Lecture Spark discusses Trump’s announcement and includes links on the possible consequences of the implementation of tariffs. 

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum



What is a trade war?

U.S. Plan For Steel And Aluminum Tariffs Prompts Global Backlash

Trump threatens E.U. with tax on car imports, slams “very stupid” trade deals

Economist Ned Hill Looks At Potential Impacts Of Tariffs On Steel-Producing States

Steel tariffs – what impact will they really have?

Trump’s new tariffs could make beer, cars and baseball bats more expensive

Trump’s steel tariffs are earning him cheers from Democrats and unions–but giving the GOP shivers

Trump Steel Tariffs Could “Mean a Lot” After Decades of “Jobs Disappearing”

Top steel CEO says US “desperately” needs new infrastructure to sustain economic boom

Markets fall as Trump slaps new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports


  • Writing: Why does the White House believe that tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will bolster US industry?
  • Debate: Tariffs are needed to protect and grow the US steel and aluminum industries.
  • Poll: Tariffs on imports may raise the price of goods but that cost is outweighed by the benefits to domestic industries.
  • Short Answer: How might tariffs on steel and aluminum imports result in a trade war.

Current events quiz:

1) President Trump imposes tariffs on steel and aluminum imports because of other countries’ unfair trade practices. (T/F)

2) Markets surged after the announcement of tariffs. (T/F)

3) There are few concerns for an impending trade war. (T/F)

4) Tariffs are typically imposed to

a. To make money.

b. To protect industry from competition

c. To promote free trade

d. To prevent trade wars

e. A & B

f. C & D

5) A trade war occurs when

a. One country retaliates for another country’s imposition of tariffs on imports

b. The price of steel is too high

c. The price of aluminum is too low

d. Domestic taxes are too high


1. True

2. False

3. False

4. E

5. A