MINAS TIRITH, GONDOR - Kicking off a major trade war between the two kingdoms, the Middle-Earth Trade Federation has announced heavy tariffs on the import of Narnian steel, sending the stock market into a freefall Thursday.
Any steel imported from Narnia to Gondor, Rohan, Erebor, or Mirkwood will be subject to a 30% tax. The move is expected to raise the end consumer price of various imported goods significantly, according to expert economists working at Rivendell.
"Trade wars are great, and they're really easy to win," the king of Gondor said in a dispatch via carrier pigeon. "If we keep allowing cheap Narnian steel to flood the market, our own blacksmiths won't be able to be competitive. This act will strengthen our own economies and create hundreds of thousands of jobs, from the Grey Havens to the far reaches of Ithilien."
Cair Paravel was quick to respond to the aggressive trade maneuver, planning to levy tariffs on exports of Middle-Earth products like lembas bread, magical fireworks, and oliphaunt tusks. The Kings and Queens of Narnia claim the tactic is designed to force the METF to back off their original restrictive tariffs, which they say will harm both universe's economies.
The move also ratcheted tensions up between the two fictional universes at a time when Mordor is reportedly on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons, reporters claim.