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Steel Prices Pre- and Post-Section 232 Tariffs

Summary:
Reader Bruce Hall writes: Just noticed that steel prices have generally fallen over the past 6 months. https://www.marketwatch.com/investing/index/steel?countrycode=xx . … Mr. Hall seemingly links to a stock price index, rather than the price of steel. No matter; here are two relevant series, as compiled by the St. Louis Fed. Figure 1: PPI by Commodity for Metals and Metal Products: Iron and Steel (1982=100, blue, left scale); Import price index for iron and steel, harmonized system (2000=100, red, right scale), not seasonally adjusted. NBER defined recession dates. Orange denotes period during which Section 232 tariffs in effect (from March 23, 2018). Source: FRED. So, indeed as theory suggests, steel prices (overall, import) have risen since the imposition of tariffs.

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Reader Bruce Hall writes:

Just noticed that steel prices have generally fallen over the past 6 months. https://www.marketwatch.com/investing/index/steel?countrycode=xx…

Mr. Hall seemingly links to a stock price index, rather than the price of steel. No matter; here are two relevant series, as compiled by the St. Louis Fed.

Steel Prices Pre- and Post-Section 232 Tariffs
Figure 1: PPI by Commodity for Metals and Metal Products: Iron and Steel (1982=100, blue, left scale); Import price index for iron and steel, harmonized system (2000=100, red, right scale), not seasonally adjusted. NBER defined recession dates. Orange denotes period during which Section 232 tariffs in effect (from March 23, 2018). Source: FRED.

So, indeed as theory suggests, steel prices (overall, import) have risen since the imposition of tariffs.

Menzie Chinn
He is Professor of Public Affairs and Economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison

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