What US steel and aluminium tariffs mean for me (and you)

Adam E. Badenhorst
4 min readJun 2, 2018


@powerserging via Twenty20

President Trump signed into effect steel and aluminium tariffs. Now, there is a 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminium imports. On the surface, that doesn’t seem too bad. But, once you start looking at the details and what it means then it’s terrible. Firstly, Canada, Mexico, and the EU announced retaliatory measures. Nobody in their right mind would second guess or even argue with such an announcement.

Tariff personal impact on me

Now, I am not living in the US so I’m not affected by that import tariff. However, others will retaliate with reciprocal tariff which does have an impact on me. As a result, the prices of goods will increase. That means that I buy less for more. Simply put, I cannot accept that sort of situation. As a result, it means that I need to start buying more product from China or stop using certain products and find a replacement.

I would take it on step further to say that these tariffs and the potential consequences would motivate me to never live in the US again. I have the opportunity to live there again. But, an unfavourable business environment, increasing medical insurance, and now higher prices from protectionist policies don’t seem to promote a high quality of life. Personally, I wouldn’t want to risk my quality of life for a potentially worse one when the odds are stacked against me. Would you?

Tariff business impact on me

In the same breadth, the tariffs also stop me from doing drop shipping with US imported goods. There is no way I can import the goods and pay a 25% tariff on them. After that, I should still apply my mark-up and ship them out? Not. going. to work. ever. For me, I can’t import any goods from the US. In the short-term, it’s not too problematic, but in the long-run it can pose significant challenges. For one, certain products are coming from the US only, so does that mean I should start manufacturing them myself? Unlikely, but still a possibility.

In addition, it would potentially harm relations between some of the bigger powers for a long period of time. Again, the negative impact from unfavourable relations results in lower business for me. Now, I’ve talked a lot about me, what about the world at large?

Tariff global impact

This one is self-explanatory so I won’t elaborate on it too much. It’s obvious it could lead to a trade war and the significant economic implications that go along with that. Some fear that a trade war could spark a depression in the US similar to the one they already experienced. It was devastating and the world suffered from it.

I have a concern that this is only the beginning of the downward spiral that the US has begun. There has been an increase in gun violence with racial aspects to it. Now, let’s not be all doom and gloom here.

Solution to the problem

I must come up with solutions to this potentially catastrophic problem. One of the things that I have already one is investing in other currencies like the Euro (which has its own troubles undoubtedly). Believe it or not, I am considering to dig into cryptocurrencies more and more. Why not invest in this forward thinking technology?

One other solution that comes to mind is begin researching more about doing business in China. I have to think about ways to diversify the business risk associated with importing goods that carry a tariff. Why not take the goods from China and import them to where I am. Or, taking locally produced goods that are in demand in China and exporting them over there where no tariff exists?

Do you see my point? It’s doom and gloom, but we have to be creative about it!

Final Thoughts

Tariffs are never a good thing. They are protectionist and don’t really help the world economy advance forward. They will have an impact on the American public, but also on other world citizens who import American goods.

The solution is not so easy, but we have to come up with solutions that are not so American dependent. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to get a 3D printer and start doing manufacturing right at home. Yes, think about that!

In whatever you do, find something that works for you and your needs.



Adam E. Badenhorst

Enterpreneur. IT & Heritage Consultant disrupting industries. AI, blockchain, SaaS, ERP.