Trump Tariffs May Have Been Protecting A Goldman Sachs-led Aluminum Price Fixing Ring

The very first tariff President Trump imposed in 2008 was a 10% tariff on aluminum imports.  Because those desperate aluminum makers in the US needed protection from foreign competition.  Or someone did.

It turns out that earlier in the decade Goldman Sachs is accused of leading a price fixing ring that attempted to corner the market for domestic aluminum and aluminum warehousing

Purchasers accused banks and commodity trading, mining and metals warehousing companies of conspiring to hoard aluminum inventory earlier this decade, after prices had declined because industrial activity fell during the global financial crisis.

The purchasers said the alleged conspiracy led to delays in processing orders and higher storage costs, ultimately inflating the cost to produce cabinets, flashlights, soft drink cans, strollers and other goods containing aluminum.

One way to avoid this sort of thing is to allow robust import markets where consumers can seek alternatives when those of domestic suppliers are unreasonable, for whatever reason.  I would trust a free trade regime to far more than the FTC or the US courts to sort this sort of thing out in a timely manner.