The Wider World

Imported steel, aluminum tariffs pledged

STEELMAKING plant in Chicago area (Flickr).

President Donald Trump announced Thursday he would impose tariffs on imported aluminum and steel, a change which some believe could trigger a trade war with China and other nations.

The stock markets reacted quickly, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 2 percent, or over 500 points. The president told steel and aluminum executives that the tariffs would be imposed starting next week and would include 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, according to the Associated Press.

Thursday’s action was in keeping with a campaign pledge to protect American manufacturers from cheaper foreign competition. Skeptics suggest that the nations affected may respond with tariffs on the importing of American products.

Retailers bounced back in 2017’s 4th quarter

Earnings reports issued Friday showed big comebacks from two larger retailers. Best Buy and Kohl’s, which had been considered troubled store chains, had a better-than-expected holiday season.

Best Buy reported that at established stores, sales were up 9 percent. A year ago, the electronics and appliances chain reported a decline of 0.9 percent.

Kohl’s, the middle-market department store, showed a 6 percent jump in sales at established stores, the biggest improvement in 16 years. Improved sales were also reported at Macy’s and Home Depot as well.

Russia claims advanced weaponry ready

In his state-of-the-nation remarks on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his nation had developed several major new weapons systems which the U.S. could not defeat.
Putin said his nation now had:

  • a nuclear-powered cruise missile
  • a nuclear-powered underwater drone
  • a hypersonic missile.

Those weapons were developed to overcome the U.S. and NATO missile defense system that could render the existing nuclear arsenal outdated.

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