March 9, 2018 / 10:00 PM / 14 days ago

Trump's tariffs could hit U.S. state, city budgets -S&P

March 9 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports could result in economic growth that is slower than states assumed in their budget forecasts, S&P Global Ratings said on Friday.

The import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum could lead to a trade war and higher inflation, the credit rating agency said in a report.

“Such an outcome could translate to slower tax revenue growth rates, further squeezing state fiscal margins, which have already been under pressure in recent years,” S&P said.

Higher costs for imported steel and aluminum would be felt in states like Missouri, Louisiana, Connecticut and Maryland, where those products account for more than 5 percent of imports, according to the report. Retaliatory tariffs placed on U.S. products could impact 11 states where exports account for more than 10 percent of gross domestic product.

The tariffs have worried Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker, who last week urged Trump to reconsider.

Cities could face similar problems if they are heavily dependent on exports or if their economies rely on cheaper steel and aluminum prices.

“In smaller cities where export-heavy manufacturing can dwarf other sectors, a shift in the pace of exports creates greater potential for economic disruption and credit deterioration,” S&P said without naming any cities.

Reporting by Karen Pierog in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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