So far, the focus has been on NAFTA with the US Administration being relatively soft on China. New tariffs on steel and aluminum are a far cry from the broad-based 45% tariff promised by President Trump during the campaign. Yes, China is the largest steel producer in the world, but with an only 2% share of US steel imports, it’s hardly a dominant player in that space.
And Trump has many reasons not to push the envelope on China. A large broad-based tariff will be translated immediately into higher prices at Walmart—hurting mostly low-income Americans—many of whom make up his base.