President Trump announced new tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum—25% and 10% respectively—on Thursday, leading some experts to fear a global trade war, the New York Times reports. "Our Steel and Aluminum industries ... have been decimated by decades of unfair trade and bad policy with countries from around the world," Trump tweeted Thursday morning. "We must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer." Experts say the tariffs could lead to retaliation from other countries (China is talking about tariffs on US sorghum and soybeans and the EU is considering tariffs on US cheese and bourbon), higher prices on goods using steel and aluminum, and possibly an economic slowdown. Nervous investors sent the Dow plunging 500 points immediately after the news broke, reports the AP.
According to Business Insider, the Commerce Department recommended tariffs of 24% and 7%, but it was reported Trump preferred a "round number." The Times describes a "frenetic and chaotic morning" leading to Trump's announcement. White House advisers have bitterly debated tariffs for months, and Trump decided only Wednesday to announce them, CNN reports. White House aides were still discussing if the tariffs will apply to all countries or just a handful as of Thursday morning, and a White House official says the policy is not ready to be implemented yet. Advisers were still debating Thursday morning if Trump could announce anything. "Maybe he wants to make an announcement, but the proclamation isn't ready," one White House official says. "Without the proclamation, nothing has legal force." Despite announcing the tariffs Thursday, Trump said he won't sign the trade measures until next week. At this point, the specifics of those measures are unclear.