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Trump looking into putting tariffs on Uranium imports from Canada because it's a security risk. Wait, what?

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The Trump administration began an investigation into whether uranium imports threaten national security, a move that may lead to tariffs on the nuclear power plant fuel.


Imposing uranium duties would deal another blow to nuclear power plants already struggling with low electricity prices and flat demand. The investigation also adds to trade tensions that the International Monetary Fund warns represents the biggest risk to the global economy. U.S. uranium miners supply less than 5 per cent of domestic consumption for the metal and say it’s increasingly difficult to compete with state-subsidized companies abroad.


Why this is a bad idea:



U.S. production of uranium necessary for military and electric power has dropped to 5 per cent of domestic consumption, from 49 per cent, said Ross. Prices for the commodity have slumped since the 2011 Fukushima disaster led big buyers including Japan and Germany to shut down or decommission reactors. Compounding the problem was a global supply glut that prompted Kazakhstan, the world’s biggest producer, to cut back last year. Canada’s Cameco Corp., the top North American supplier, followed suit in November.


Canada and Kazakhstan are the main sources of U.S. uranium imports, each accounting for about a quarter of the total, followed by Australia, Russia and Uzbekistan, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Almost 90 per cent of uranium delivered to U.S. reactors was from foreign nations in 2016, according to the government agency.


The US only produces 5% of its own Uranium for both military and civilian use. So Canada contributes 25% (largest importer), followed by Khazakstan (also 25%) and a bunch of others like Australia and Russia.


But to say that it should be subject to tariffs because it's a security threat is...I can't even describe how preposterous it is since it's used by the US for its own security.


In reality it's an attack both on trading partners (or "leeches" as Trump would believe) as well as the nuclear power industry. Gotta save coal, even if it means artificially making all of the other options losers. Next up is a 50% surcharge on all sunlight entering the US from it's space border!

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