"Protectionist Trump could cost 5,000 Belgian jobs"

The daily De Tijd today publishes the findings of Leuven University professor Hylke Vandenbussche, who has elaborated simulations to forecast what could happen in Belgium if US President Trump puts his protectionist ideas into practice. The Leuven academic suggests that protectionist action by the US could cost up to 5,000 jobs in Belgium and cut economic growth by up to 0,42%.
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Simulations are there to be taken with a pinch of salt, but if those created by the Leuven professor of international economy are true Belgium could be in for a rough ride.

Higher import duties on goods entering the US could cost 1,200 jobs in Belgium. Under the simulation this figure rises to 5,000 jobs under the "worst-case scenario" De Tijd writes. Higher import duties in the US could cut Belgian growth by between 0,1% and 0,42%.

At present the US levies an average import duty of 2,1% on goods originating in the EU. Mr Trump has spoken of increasing this to 5%. Import tariffs can be hiked to 15% for a short period. That would then result in the worst-case scenario.

Under the simulation 1,200 Belgian jobs will be lost if the US increases its import tariffs to 5% as that would cut Belgian exports to the US by 5.7%.

Belgium annually exports some 7.6 billion euros' worth of goods to the US keeping 54,000 people in work. This represents 1.2% of the Belgian workforce.