The new President of the USA wants to minimise imports, which he says take away American jobs.
These criticisms seem not to take account of the fact that, apart from energy, the U.S. imports significant amounts of the commodities it consumes.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S.’s top three trading partners were China (15.8 percent), a major supplier of steel, zinc and aluminum; Canada (15 percent), which supplies wood, machines, engines and pumps, and Mexico (14.5 percent), a source for machinery, mineral oils and plastics.
Copper is essential in the electrical, construction and industrial machinery sectors. In 2015, U.S. imports of copper to the USA amounted to 756,000 metric tons. Exports were only 95,000 metric tons, according to the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Geological Survey.
The construction industry is the largest consumer of iron and steel, accounting for about 50 percent of world production. This means that America imports a high proportion of the metals it needs. China, which is often the target of his criticism produced 710 million metric tons or iron and 822 metric tons of steel. These imports are vital for Trump to achieve his domestic production goals.