Two ways to view this…
1. Biden and his backers are expecting to lose hard in 2022 and 2024 and figure they might as well do what their donors want.
2. The Democrats are jettisoning the last of their working-class union base.
The Trump steel tariffs on Europe were a big deal. And they were so sensitive that even an incoming Biden administration that had made a point of trashing everything else Trump had done, kept its hands off them because they directly tie into union jobs in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Here’s an old Politico piece on why Biden had refrained.
“On one level, the steelworkers don’t represent a huge number of voters because there’s just not that many of them, but they are important voters in important states,” said Todd Tucker, director of governance studies at the Roosevelt Institute, a progressive-leaning think tank.
“If you look at the geography of where steel production is most prevalent, it’s in a few congressional districts in Ohio, Pennsylvania and a few other places that are going to be important, certainly in presidential years, but some Senate races in 2022,” Tucker added.
So what exactly are they thinking?
Biden told the United Steelworkers in a campaign questionnaire that he would support steel and aluminum tariffs until global excess capacity is addressed, but he also pledged to review Trump’s “short-sighted and destructive” approach to tariffs.
Surprise. He lied.
But it wouldn’t be a Democrat economic deal without screwing U.S. workers on both ends by tying them to disastrously bankript environmentalist measures that enrich San Francisco and New York, while impoverishing Middle America.
A senior administration official dismissed the suggestion that easing the tariffs on aluminum and steel might cost Biden politically. “This deal is just the first deal that actually gets something in exchange for US steel companies and its workers,” the official said Saturday, adding that clean standards for steel will provide an advantage to American manufacturers. “Right now, our steel companies are the cleanest in the world, and they don’t get any credit for that. And this deal will turn that sort of low carbon intensity across all modes of production into a source of competitive advantage.”
Yes, crippling your own production is a hell of a “competitive advantage”.
United Steelworkers, which defied the interests of its members by endorsing Biden, is now trying to sell this betrayal to its members.