Steel-ing a Makeover from Tariffic Post

By hrbrmstr

(This article was first published on R –, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

(FWIW I think I even caused myself pain due to the title of this blog post).

Kaiser Fung (@junkcharts) did a makeover post on this chart about U.S. steel tariffs:

Kaiser’s makeover is good (Note: just because I said “good” does not mean I’m endorsing the use of pie charts):

But, I’m curious as to what others would do with the data. Here’s my stab at a single-geom makeover:


  country = c("Rest of World", "Canada*", "Brazil*", "South Korea", "Mexico", 
              "Russia", "Turkey", "Japan", "Taiwan", "Germany", "India"),
  pct = c(22, 16, 13, 10, 9, 9, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2)
) %>% 
  mutate(country = sprintf("%s (%s%%)", country, pct)) %>% 
    colors = c("gray70", viridis_pal(option = "plasma")(10))
  ) +
    title = "U.S. Steel Imports — YTD 2017 Percent of Volume",
    subtitle = "Ten nations account for ~80% of U.S. steel imports.",
    caption = "Source: IHS Global Trade Atlas • YTD through September 2017n* Canada & Brazil are not impacted by the proposed tariffs"
  ) +
  theme_ipsum_ps() +
  theme(legend.position = "top") +
  theme(axis.text = element_blank()) +
  theme(title = element_text(hjust=0.5)) +
  theme(plot.title = element_text(hjust=0.5)) +
  theme(plot.subtitle = element_text(hjust=0.5)) +
  theme(plot.caption = element_text(hjust=1))

The percentages are included in the legend titles in the event that some readers of the chart may want to know the specific numbers, but my feeling for the intent of the original pac-man pies was to provide a list that didn’t include China-proper (despite 45 using them to rile up his base) and give a sense of proportion for the “top 10”. The waffle chart isn’t perfect for it, but it is one option.

How would you use the data (provided in the R snippet) to communicate the message you think needs to be communicated? Drop a note in the comments with a link to your creation(s) if you do give the data a spin.

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