Now that we've covered what tariffs are and why they're good or bad, here's a closer investigation into President Donald Trump's current "trade wars" - the increase in US protection and tariffs on international imports.
One of Trump's most prominent campaign promises during the 2016 election was to help American workers. Now, as President, one of the main reasons that Trump and his administration talk about for their tariffs is protecting American employment. Very quickly, here are the main reasons that the Trump administration has referred to:
To protect the jobs of American workers employed by the businesses that make the goods that the tariffs now protect (e.g. steel, aluminium)
To correct the prolonged disadvantage that the US has had in global trade, largely due to China. Trump has claimed that, for many years, China and the US have not had equal trading conditions - these tariffs are thus to level the playing field
For national security reasons - steel and aluminium are linked to national security. With these types of goods, it's not unusual for countries to implement some protection.
Below is a summary of the US's tariffs, and other countries' retaliations. (Note: this list is how the situation stands so far, and obviously it may change over time, so stay alert!)
Recapped: Trump's tariffs so far
US TARIFFS ON INTERNATIONAL IMPORTS
INTERNATIONAL TARIFFS ON US IMPORTS (RETALIATION)
That was Recap: Trump's Trade Wars! On a final note, it's important to know that although there are valid arguments on both sides, most economists are approaching Trump's protectionist policies with caution, as free trade is the ultimate key to a prosperous global economy.