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What’s the deal with steel?

A new podcast episode all about Trump’s steel tariff announcements.

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In case you missed it, President Donald Trump recently announced his decision to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. It’s supposedly a move to protect the US steel industry from foreign competition, but in practice, it makes no sense as policy — instead setting up the United States for a disadvantaged economy and a trade war.

Republicans are panicking about the potential for conflict ahead of the 2018 midterm elections and have spent the past few days privately lobbying within the White House. House Speaker Paul Ryan has spoken out publicly, saying, “We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan.”

To understand the rationale of Trump’s announcement — in addition to the likely international conflict at stake — Sean Rameswaram talked to Vox’s Matt Yglesias for the latest episode of Today, Explained. Matt raps.

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You can get the news we’re reading throughout the day, facts and stats to make you smarter about the world, and behind-the-scenes photos on Twitter at @Today_Explained. You can follow Sean at @Rameswaram and Matt Yglesias at @MattYglesias.

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