Focus at Four: Economic effect of proposed steel, aluminum tariffs

As the Trump Administration seeks to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a Texas A&M Bush School of Government and Public Service political economist explains what that could mean for the U.S. economy.

"So many industries in the U.S. use steel and aluminum, so costs are going to drive up for them." said Raymond Robertson. But he says the costs won't stop there: they'll likely be passed along to the consumer.

"Cars, anything in a can--there are lots and lots of products that have steel and aluminum in them," said Robertson. "Not to mention construction."

Still, Robertson says this is President Trump following through on a campaign promise to the metal production industries specifically in the Northeast, that stand to gain from the tariffs.

"Plus, one of the arguments that the [Trump] adminstration is making is that these are critically necessary for our defense industry, and therefore we can't rely on imports from other countries," said Robertson.

Right now, the U.S. is mostly importing these metals from Canada, Europe, and some from Mexico.

Robertson says, this likely means retaliation.

"There's already been movement on how they're going to respond," said Robertson, "which would be to impose costs on us, that the U.S. will have to bear, so make up for what our tariffs are costing them."

For more from Robertson, see the video player above.