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Tariff winners and losers: U.S. Steel spikes, Ford retreats

Wall Street is already handing out verdicts on who will win and who will lose if President Trump follows the Commerce...

Posted: Feb 17, 2018 8:54 AM
Updated: Feb 17, 2018 8:54 AM

Wall Street is already handing out verdicts on who will win and who will lose if President Trump follows the Commerce Department's recommendations to impose heavy tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

American steel stocks spiked on Friday immediately after the Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross proposed actions aimed at reviving the beleaguered steel industry.

Nucor, the largest U.S. steel maker, climbed 4%, while U.S. Steel and AK Steel soared more than 10% apiece.

Ross recommended an across-the-board tariff of 24% on imports from all countries, or tariffs of at least 53% on imports from 12 countries in particular, including China and Russia. Ross also suggested limiting imports of steel into the United States.

Aluminum stocks also bounced, led by an 8% jump for Century Aluminum. Larger American aluminum makers like Alcoa, Arconic and Reliance Steel & Aluminum also ticked higher. Aluminum prices climbed nearly 2% on the news.

The Commerce Department recommended a tariff of 7.7% in aluminum imports from all countries, or a tariff of 23.6% on imports from five specific countries. The proposal also includes a proposal to cut aluminum imports from most countries by 13%.

Related: Trump administration recommends steep tariffs on steel

But if the proposed tariffs and quotas lift prices on aluminum and steel, the trade action could create headaches for auto, appliance and plane manufacturers - and their customers.

Shares of General Motors, Ford and Whirlpool declined about 2% apiece. Ford is already grappling with higher costs. The automaker warned last month that commodity costs will squeeze 2018 profits.

Even beer companies, which use aluminum to make their millions of cans, could be hurt.

Molson Coors Brewing, the maker of Coors Light and Miller Light, reportedly warned last year that aluminum duties would "obviously get passed on to us and the customer."

On the other hand, tariffs could help steel and aluminum makers regain market share lost to cheaper imports from China, Russia and elsewhere. Higher prices could pad their bottom lines as well.

The American steel industry has loudly pushed for help from Trump. More than two dozen U.S. steel and steel-related companies and associations wrote Trump a letter on February 2 urging "strong action" to support domestic steel.

"Now is the time for Presidential action to prevent excess steel capacity and surging steel imports from undermining our national security and the viability of the U.S. steel industry," the companies stated.

It's far too early to know how the Trump administration's proposed tariffs would shake out in the long run. One risk is that aggressive action sparks a trade war that hurts the broader economy.

- CNN's Patrick Gillespie contributed to this report.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 590211

Reported Deaths: 9310
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion815581297
Lake44306666
Allen31919541
Hamilton28371304
St. Joseph26766371
Elkhart24098341
Vanderburgh18643213
Tippecanoe17422121
Johnson14496284
Porter14399160
Hendricks13870241
Madison10561212
Vigo10483171
Clark10240130
Monroe9076108
Delaware8836132
LaPorte8771155
Howard7897138
Kosciusko787277
Warrick643890
Hancock638797
Bartholomew626694
Floyd6150105
Wayne5933157
Grant5818110
Dubois544372
Boone534367
Morgan516291
Marshall494184
Henry493664
Cass471760
Noble460557
Dearborn458444
Jackson414745
Shelby402179
Lawrence380575
Clinton364539
Gibson356556
DeKalb337363
Montgomery334851
Harrison328542
Knox327839
Miami309843
Steuben306340
Adams295235
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Washington177118
Starke171341
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Carroll152115
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Pike113625
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Brown85530
Benton84310
Crawford7579
Martin70013
Warren6587
Switzerland6205
Union6113
Ohio4677
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 826754

Reported Deaths: 10200
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin97493705
Cuyahoga821781012
Hamilton61350439
Montgomery41700399
Summit33399726
Lucas30111597
Butler29721228
Stark24811400
Warren18917139
Lorain18086212
Mahoning16758335
Lake15365135
Clermont15160104
Delaware1382177
Licking12679132
Trumbull12401302
Fairfield1218480
Greene11631133
Medina11128165
Clark10608264
Wood9964154
Allen9511126
Portage8867105
Miami886573
Richland8790116
Marion7319113
Tuscarawas7142174
Columbiana7085124
Pickaway702850
Wayne6781164
Muskingum671242
Erie5886118
Hancock537890
Ross530287
Scioto519662
Geauga483555
Darke457589
Ashtabula439068
Lawrence432651
Union430628
Mercer424287
Sandusky421862
Seneca413555
Auglaize412759
Huron410338
Shelby410221
Jefferson403366
Belmont395640
Washington372040
Putnam364672
Athens36369
Madison339329
Knox336522
Ashland331738
Fulton325943
Defiance319278
Crawford313268
Preble311534
Brown296619
Logan292729
Ottawa282134
Clinton279043
Williams270166
Highland262418
Jackson256943
Guernsey241725
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Fayette225529
Morrow22294
Perry221318
Holmes218662
Henry210247
Hardin204133
Coshocton197420
Van Wert196644
Gallia190926
Wyandot190549
Adams165615
Pike164116
Hocking163423
Carroll149516
Paulding139021
Noble117840
Meigs103221
Monroe95629
Harrison8568
Morgan79128
Vinton67113
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