Trump-backed sectors remain weak rings in the US economy

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Donald Trump, in the middle of his campaign to win a second term in the White House, boasted of promoting the US industry to rebuild the country with “American Steel,” “American Spirit,” and “American Armaments.”

But despite imposing heavy tariffs on some of the country’s top trading partners to boost US companies’ competitiveness, the economy is slowing down despite its vitality, while the most vulnerable sectors include Trump’s support.

Trump said at a rally in Florida in June that “US steel mills are being re-emitted strongly,” the day US Steel, one of the largest US steelmakers, announced that it had frozen two of its sites to That “market conditions are improving”.

– Mines in decline –

The president also announced that “the coal industry is back” in West Virginia.

But the industries with the most presidential interest, such as cars, steel, aluminum and coal, suffer from a volatile market and technological development, as well as from the same measures taken by the president to help them, according to a number of experts and economists.

In June, the manufacturing sector recorded the weakest level of activity in three years and reached the brink of deflation.

In March, the number of employees in the sector declined for the first time in two years. Since then, labor has been registering a slower pace of growth than in other sectors.

Industry Sector Assembly President Scott Paul acknowledged that Donald Trump was exaggerating, but noted that “many Americans would like to see a president fighting for American industry.”

Since his arrival at the White House in January 2017, Trump has imposed strict customs duties on hundreds of billions of dollars of imported goods, renegotiated trade agreements, and promised punitive measures against trading partners or US companies closing factories .

“The weak demand, the high dollar price and the path of development for decades have hurt the industrial sector, and Trump’s trade war on several fronts has not helped improve the situation,” said Gregory Dako, head of economics at Oxford Economics.

“Protectionist policies have weighed heavily on the same sectors that were aimed at protecting them,” he told AFP.

– Automotive sector faces risks –

Coal production faces a crisis despite environmental deregulation and the allocation of millions of dollars for research to improve the performance of thermal plants. But in the face of less cost-effective and environmentally friendly solutions, coal consumption has fallen to its lowest level in 40 years, according to Energy Department figures.

Although the aluminum sector, which is of great interest to the White House as a matter of “national security”, recorded an increase in its net production after the protection measures taken, but the number of employees has declined by 1% since January 2017, according to the Ministry of Labor. On Wall Street, the shares of the two main production companies, Century Aluminum and Alcoa, have fallen by half since last year.

Tom Leary, vice president of Harbor Aluminum in Texas, said the administration had not taken enough measures, stressing that “10 percent of customs duties are not enough.”

The auto industry is looking for a solution to the expected revolution in transportation, with the start of auto-production and heavy production of electric cars, investing billions of dollars, but closing factories that produced “conventional” cars.

The sector records the highest pace of job cuts since the Great Depression.

Trump’s continued threat to impose strict tariffs on imports of cars manufactured outside the United States has destabilized the US auto sector, especially since most of its companies have set up production centers abroad.

But the president now focuses on tariffs. “It is an excellent negotiating tool that generates money, but most importantly, it is a powerful way to return companies to the United States and return those that have left for other countries,” he wrote in a tweet on Twitter.


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