Who are the winners and losers of Trump's tariff plan?

President Trump announced plans to tax the import of steel and aluminum as it enters the United States.

Producers such as Nucor Corp., AK Steel Holding Corp. and U.S. Steel Corp. will reap the benefits. They have aggressively lobbied for trade defenses against what they see as unfair competition from China, Russia and South Korea.

A tariff around the level currently discussed -- 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum from all countries -- is expected to drive up U.S. steel prices. Domestic hot-rolled coil, an industry benchmark, has already rallied in anticipation, reaching about $780 a metric ton, according to Metal Bulletin prices.

While China has long been the bogeyman of the steel industry and scorned by politicians for flooding the market with cheap products, it’s not the biggest seller into the U.S. That title goes to Mexico, Canada and Brazil.

Republicans in steelmaking states like Pennsylvania, Indiana and Michigan will have a good message to take home in the 2018 midterms. Protecting blue-collar workers was one of Trump’s key election promises, and this could be a success for the party, despite delays in their other legislative ambitions.

In the longer term, there could be mounting pressure for manufacturers who have to pay more for steel and aluminum. They employ more workers than steel and aluminum mills, and Anheuser-Busch has already urged Trump to reconsider. The Budweiser brewer said higher U.S. aluminum tariffs could cost thousands of U.S. jobs and raise costs by millions of dollars.

Other countries are already talking about the possibility of retaliation. In China, one of President Xi Jinping’s top economic advisers has been dispatched to the U.S. in attempt to defuse tensions. China is investigating U.S. imports of sorghum and studying whether to restrict shipments of U.S. soybeans. The European Union has said it will take action if “unjustifiably hit” by the tariffs.

For makers of beer cans, airplanes, cars and other materials the consequences of the tariffs “could be severe” as they face higher cost, with limited ability to pass that on to their consumers, Darwei Kung, the head commodities portfolio manager at Deutsche Asset Management. They also stand to lose market share as overseas suppliers bring into the U.S. their products at cheaper cost, he said.

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