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U.S. Allies Retaliate After Trump Imposes Tariffs

U.S. Allies Retaliate After Trump Imposes Tariffs

*groan*

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0pMQHNjtxc

President Donald Trump’s administration failed to reach a deal with Canada, Mexico, and the European Union, which led the president to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Trump gave these three an extension when he brought up tariffs last month, but Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the administration will not renew the tariffs. Imported steel will receive a 25% tariff while aluminum will have a 10% tariff.

From Politico:

The U.S. imported $29 billion worth of steel in 2017 — about half of which came from the EU, Canada and Mexico. Canada supplied more than 40 percent of the $17.8 billion worth of aluminum the U.S. bought in from foreign suppliers last year.

China is largely blamed as the primary source of global excess capacity in both the steel and aluminum sectors. But the U.S. imported just $1 billion worth of steel and $1.7 billion worth aluminum from China last year because of extensive duties that have been in place for years.

The EU, Mexico and Canada argued that they are such close allies of the U.S. that they are unlikely to cut off steel and aluminum shipments in times of war. But the Trump administration rejected that reasoning.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced that the country will slap “duties of up to $16.6 billion on steel, aluminum and other products from the U.S., including maple syrup, beer kegs and whiskies.”

She visited Washington on Tuesday to try to persuade the administration not to impose the tariffs. When she spoke to reporters, Freeland said Canada finds it “absurd” that the U.S. would consider it “a national security threat.”

The EU has started to plan “tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of U.S. goods in retaliation.” From The Washington Examiner:

The EU tariffs would target items produced in Republican-leaning states such as motorcycles and tobacco and agricultural products such as cranberry juice and peanut butter, in an effort to put maximum pressure on President Trump’s administration.

“The United States now leaves us with no choice but to proceed with a WTO dispute settlement case and with the imposition of additional duties on a number of imports from the United States,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.

Mexico, another top steel exporter to the U.S., announced it will implement its own tariffs on a bunch of U.S. products that adds up to about $3 billion. From The Hill:

“Mexico reiterates its position against protectionist measures that affect and distort international commerce in goods,” the government said in a statement.

“In response to the tariffs imposed by the United States, Mexico will impose equivalent measures to various products like flat steels (hot and cold foil, including coated and various tubes), lamps, legs and shoulders of pork, sausages and food preparations, apples, grapes, blueberries, various cheeses, among others, up to an amount comparable to the level of affectation.”

The U.K. also expressed disappointment that the administration “decided to apply these tariffs.” Thing is, Trump faces plenty of criticism at home, too. From The Wall Street Journal:

“This is dumb,” said Sen. Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican. “Europe, Canada, and Mexico are not China, and you don’t treat allies the same way you treat opponents.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement: “Tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are a tax hike on Americans and will have damaging consequences for consumers, manufacturers and workers. I will continue to push the administration to change course.”

I’ll add my two cents here, too. This is AWFUL. It doesn’t take a genius to know that those added costs will be passed down to us consumers.

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Comments

Henry Hawkins | May 31, 2018 at 8:10 pm

“I’ll add my two cents here, too. This is AWFUL. It doesn’t take a genius to know that those added costs will be passed down to us consumers.”

Oh, yer gonna pay fer that.

Trade wars are stupid. For both sides. Trump hurt America by imposing those tariffs. So the allies “retaliated” by hurting their own countries.

A trade war is like two people fighting by stabbing themselves repeatedly in order to spurt blood onto the other ones clothes. If someone does that to you of course you want to try to stop them, nobody likes bloodstained clothes, but not by doing the same thing back to them.

    Fen in reply to Milhouse. | May 31, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    “Trade wars are stupid. For both sides.”

    War in general is stupid for both sides. But an irrational desire to avoid it led to the surrender of Alsace, Lorraine, the Sudentland, Czechoslovakia and Poland to avoid.

    Including the execution of approx 6 million Jews.

      Milhouse in reply to Fen. | May 31, 2018 at 10:30 pm

      Normal war is not stupid. Yes, fighting hurts, but whatever damage you suffer from fighting is (if you’re doing it right) less than you inflict on the enemy, and it’s a whole lot less than what you’d suffer by refusing to fight. Trade wars are the opposite. The damage you do to yourself is a lot more than what you inflict on the enemy, and a lot more than the enemy would do to you if you just let him. That’s stupid.

        Fen in reply to Milhouse. | May 31, 2018 at 10:52 pm

        And if they blink first and Trump walks away with a better deal, will you admit you were wrong?

          Milhouse in reply to Fen. | May 31, 2018 at 11:13 pm

          No, because his idea of a “better deal” is a worse deal.

          Fen in reply to Fen. | June 1, 2018 at 1:17 am

          What a cop out. You refuse to admit that a better deal could be negotiated to the point you create a strawman to dodge the question. So dishonest.

          First time I encountered you here I caught a wiff of weasel from you. I pushed it aside and tried to give you the benefit of doubt but now I’m sure – you reek of sophistry and corruption. Rotted weasel.

          Aarradin in reply to Fen. | June 1, 2018 at 4:23 am

          Trump has already gotten multiple “Better Deals” by using this tactic.

          All of which have been FANTASTIC for American workers AND consumers.

          Oh, btw, since Trump has been using the Steel tariff as a bargaining chip, prices on steel here have gone DOWN.

          A basic fact that just obliterates the silly propaganda of those claiming a “trade war” hurts US based manufacturers.

          Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | June 1, 2018 at 6:57 am

          I dunno where your got that, but it isn’t true.

          https://www.unarcorack.com/steel-average/

      YellowGrifterInChief in reply to Fen. | June 1, 2018 at 10:47 am

      Wow, you cherry-picked one war. Fighting WW I did not prevent any such horrors. All it did was decimate a generation of Europeans and plant the seeds for Hitler and WW II. WW I also accelerated or precipitated the rise of your favorite group – the Bolsheviks.

      Besides, your argument is that once a war starts there may be justifiable reasons for joining in. But Trump is starting this war! His claim that he is doing it for ‘National Security’ reasons is transparently specious.

      The average imbecile would deny you were smart enough to be one of they.

        Both sides of this debate will think you are a Troll and a douchebag. Might as well run along.

        It’s not cherry-picking. Its the most egregious example on wanting to accept a deal, any deal, so badly that you are not willing to walk away from the negotiating table. And your opponent adapts accordingly, making the most unreasonable demands because you’ve telegraphed you will trade anything for a piece of paper promising “peace in our time”.

        It’s hard to take your insult seriously when you miss something so obvious.

        “WW I did not prevent any such horrors”

        WWI was also the product of a “bad” deal.

        “Hey, if you go to war because your nephew gets assassinated, and your enemy’s ally declares war on you… we’re going to declare war on THEM and embroil the entire continent in 4 years of hell that not only results in the loss of millions of lives and waste of millions of dollars, but also sets the stage for an even deeper Hell 2.0 fifteen years later.

        Because your nephew was a swell guy.

        Do you think that was a good deal?

Duh Donald’s dictatorial taxes on American consumers and businesses are predicated on a lie; there’s no “national security” interest involved here.

Duh Donald doesn’t like trade. (See the period?) He doesn’t like you using your property or choices as you see fit.

#badchoicedadaddyfix

DINORightMarie | May 31, 2018 at 9:12 pm

I think this is not as bad as they make it appear. Tariffs are bad. There is no doubt that economic theory and studies on tariffs makes that clear. However, there is a trade imbalance. The U.S. is looked at as if it is the world’s rich uncle, its piggy bank.

Trump, who understands this more than people give him credit for, is calling their bluff. China came to the table, as did others – for a reason.

There will be an impact, but U.S. industries in these areas will benefit. Just as U.S. Steel has ramped up production to meet demand, others in various industries will too. If regulations that are causing prices to be high are removed, or lessened, then these other economic resources, these commodities, will fill the gap and U.S. businesses will prosper.

Trade with Mexico is imbalanced. So is trade with the E.U. Canada has also been forcing a problem, and the current administration is unwilling to work with Trump.

Time will tell, but I don’t think this will be as bad as it is being hyped to be.

    Milhouse in reply to DINORightMarie. | May 31, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    However, there is a trade imbalance.

    And there’s the core fallacy right there. The fallacy that Smith utterly destroyed 240 years ago, but economic illiterates repeat to this day. A trade imbalance is not a bad thing. It should not be avoided, let alone “corrected”. In the long run it will correct itself, usually by the currency market adjusting, but the longer that run is the better, and nothing should be done to shorten it.

    There will be an impact, but U.S. industries in these areas will benefit.

    And that is a bad thing. Those in these selected privileged industries will benefit, at the expense of everyone else. This is why industries seek protection. They are special interests, fighting against the general interest, which is always, always, always that of the consumer.

    Effectively they are getting welfare at the expense of everyone else, but it’s not even efficient welfare. It would be much cheaper for everyone if the displaced steel workers were simply paid to sit at home until they get bored and find new jobs.

      Shane in reply to Milhouse. | May 31, 2018 at 9:57 pm

      … at the expense of everyone else.

      This isn’t clear, it should be … at the expense of the consumer.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | June 1, 2018 at 11:41 am

      America needs to have core technology and manufacturing on our turf. Dumping destroys our ability to maintain key industries. Steel and aluminum are areas where we need to have the capability to to produce, and to ramp up production rapidly. There is also the issue of knowhow and individual intellectual capacity which is easily lost if core industries do not maintain some presence here. Yet another issue, we will not be producing inventions in areas where our people are not exposed to the technology.

      You appear to be blind to these other issues.

      Mac45 in reply to Milhouse. | June 1, 2018 at 11:59 am

      The fallacy is that a negative trade imbalance is NOT a bad thing. If it was a good thing, for a nation, then everyone would be doing whatever they could to have a negative trade balance and the bigger the better. But, this is not the case. nations want, and strive for, a positive balance of trade. Why? Because it is always better to have more money coming in than going out. Every single business in the world operates on that simple principle. International trade is no different.

      As to those in the protected, not privileged, industries benefiting at the expense of everyone else, this is horribly simplistic. Let’s take steel. If the price of imported steel rises, this encourages the US steel industry to expand, because local manufacturers can now compete with foreign manufacturers who have drastically lower overhead. This increases worker participation in these industries and takes people off of tax supported government relief and onto self sufficiency. This reduces the individual tax burden. It increases the need for local support industries for the steel industry. This allows these support industries to expand, with the same results. As personal buying power is increased, sales in the US increase. And, as US manufacturers are servicing the US market, US funds remain within the US. This stimulates the US market and it expands. As more people are able to afford products manufactured out of steel, then volume of sales increases and the volume can, and often does, offset the increased production costs. The manufacturer of the product might not like a reduction in profit, until volume increases, but as you have noticed, the market will adjust.

Agreed. How many times have we seen Trump turn what looked like a bad play into a checkmate?

I’m not comfortable with this, but I’ll give the author of “The Art Of The Deal” the benefit of doubt. He has a knack for turning conventional wisdom on it’s head.

And his critics have a habit of being absent when it’s time for them to eat crow.

Wait and see what happens. I doubt Trump is surprised by this move.

    Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | May 31, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    Duh Donald didn’t write “The Art Of The Deal”. He’s just lied about it enough that he actually believes his own bullshit.

    Look it up, moron.

    Shane in reply to Fen. | May 31, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    I agree Fen, signature Trump is to say something outrageous to get parties to the table to negotiate. Maybe this time is different, but I have seen this film before, and I will wait until it’s “over” to pass judgment.

    willow in reply to Fen. | June 1, 2018 at 3:10 am

    Trump is credited as co-author; Schwartz wrote the book with material supplied by Trump. So, the ideas were Trump’s, and I take it that it is the ideas are what you focused on. Tweet from Schwartz.

    Trump’s presidency is effectively over. Would be amazed if he survives till end of the year. More likely resigns by fall, if not sooner.
    12:20 PM – 16 Aug 2017

    From the New Yorker September 18, 2017

    The Risk of Nuclear War with North Korea
    On the ground in Pyongyang: Could Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump goad each other into a devastating confrontation?

    Yeah, I will wait as the goalposts keep getting moved.

      Aarradin in reply to willow. | June 1, 2018 at 4:18 am

      “Trump’s presidency is effectively over. Would be amazed if he survives till end of the year.”

      Wanna bet your life on that?

      I’d take you up on that bet! Wouldn’t lose a wink of sleep, either.

        Shane in reply to Aarradin. | June 1, 2018 at 8:00 am

        It’s a tweet from the ghost writer (I think). The OP doesn’t make that clear.

          willow in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 10:33 am

          Yep, I didn’t. Schwartz is the ghostwriter. After his tweet prediction failed to come to fruition, he wrote a psychobabble screed in January with supposed analysis on Trump’s psyche. He was proven wrong a month beforehand when his prediction did not come to pass so yeah, we should take stock in what he says. sarc/

      JusticeDelivered in reply to willow. | June 1, 2018 at 11:54 am

      How would a nuclear war with North Korea turn out, comparatively low losses for America and total annihilation of North Korea. Even if Kim managed to survive in a bunker, there would be nothing for him to return to.

      Trumps button is bigger and does work.

I like it.

On, come on now! Do you honestly not recognize that Trump is playing the long game here on several issues? First, he’s trying to close the NAFTA backdoor, whereby countries like China and others dump their products in Canada and Mexico, like aluminum and steel, which are then manufactured and exported into the US tariff-free via NAFTA. Check this out for yourself; look at how much raw steel Canada and Mexico produce vs. the amount of finished steel products they export to the US…the difference is the vast quantity being dumped by China and others. Trump has been trying to work with Canada and Mexico to regnogiate NAFTA for more than a year with no success. He warned them, and they didn’t listen. Maybe they’ll listen now.

Second, this is an indirect shot at China, to show them we mean business in our ongoing trade renegotiations with them.

Third, any leverage that we gain over China also helps with the North Korea negotiations.

And lastly, this also helps with our negotiations with the EU over new Iran sanctions.

    tmiker in reply to fast182. | June 1, 2018 at 12:27 am

    This is the truth. Glad someone can see it. Negotiations on point of origin for manufactured goods weren’t going where they needed to close the loophole sucking out the US manufacturing base, ergo the tarriffs. I expect more is coming. Trump is doing what he said he would do. Trade imbalances don’t self-correct for sheep in a world of wolves.

Obviously, our allies have been taking advantage of us. What other ways are there to stop that?

    Milhouse in reply to Fen. | May 31, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    No, we’ve been taking advantage of them.

      Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | June 1, 2018 at 4:15 am

      Does your mind even inhabit the same universe the rest of us live in?

      Or are you just playing Devil’s Advocate: continuously saying the most ridiculous things just to get a reaction?

        Shane in reply to Aarradin. | June 1, 2018 at 8:02 am

        You need a course in basic economics. This is well documented and clear. Unfortunately most outside of the abysmal science do not know about it.

Here is the deal on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum imports into the US. A large amount of these imports actually come from China and other countries, are “sold” to Canadian and Mexican firms, or to Canadian and Mexican firms which are owned by companies outside those two countries, and then imported into the US duty free under NAFTA. Countries, primarily China, circumvent US import controls by funneling goods and materiel through our NAFTA partners. Canada and Mexico make money and the US loses.

NAFTA is dead. Even US “allies” are going to have to cut their tariffs on US produced goods, or face the same tariffs on goods manufactured in their countries and shipped to the US. If the world wants free trade, then it is going to have to really have free trade. Not just use the US as its dumping ground while having high tariffs on imports from the US. It is known as compromise.

    Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | May 31, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    Another vomiting of economic stupid.

    Will you never cease?

      Shane in reply to Ragspierre. | May 31, 2018 at 10:05 pm

      My gawd man. Why are you soo fucking mad. He has postulated economically what is happening in these markets. His arguments are sound and you come back with ::crickets:: … NOTHING. If you are going to be a douche at least have a counter argument.

        Ragspierre in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 8:11 am

        No. He’s wrong, and so are you in supporting that bilge. He’s contradicting what good econmic sense you’ve been posting. He’s an economics boob, like several others here and the POTUS.

You can get a good preview of the issue in the above comments:

Pro Trade War: reserved support but detailed analysis of why a trade war may be a necessary evil.

Anti Trade War: “You’re an idiot you blankety blank blank”

    fast182 in reply to Fen. | May 31, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    I don’t think we’re looking at a trade war. It’s just a scary phrase by those who hate Trump. Disclaimer: I wish the US wasn’t a debtor nation, but here we are. Now, given that we’re the world’s largest economy and run a trade deficit with every major economy, and those countries live off those exports (Japan, China, Germany, etc.) any retaliation will hurt them more than us. We hold all of the cards, especially as a top energy producer. And now we have a leader who knows how to deal, seems to genuinely want to MAGA, and isn’t owned by anyone.

    Shane in reply to Fen. | May 31, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    Let me clarify the anti trade war stance because it certainly hasn’t been clearly addressed.

    I agree that China (maybe others) are dumping commodity goods on our NAFTA partners and those goods are entering the US via this mechanism. I will not and no anti trade war person should argue otherwise.

    However, even if this is the case it is not a bad thing. Let’s say that China just dumped their goods here and didn’t bother with the convoluted path around the tariffs. Let’s say the US is “crazy” enough to do it. What does that mean? Well worse case the manufacture of those goods would be put out of business. Bad stuff yah? Indeed. With the local manufactures crippled or put out of business (we will go with worse case put out of business), the dumpers can then do what? Raise the price of the item? As soon as that starts to happen, then the profit motive, starts to attract manufacturers back in. But what about capital costs. Ok, the profit margin has to be as much as will support new business for new manufactures to come online. Depending on the how much is being subsidized this may bring in competition or not. Generally speaking though once the price starts to climb then competitors will start to enter even with high capital expenses. Artificially low prices also drive innovation. A person that doesn’t have the issue of day to day business or that is in a related industry may come up with a ground breaking idea (see fracking) that will change the playing field. With no investment in the old way of doing things or aged capital investments this new competitor can be hyper efficient.

    So far I have only addressed the economy that is being dumped on. Let’s talk about the economy that is doing the dumping. Because taxpayers are being forced to pay for manufactures profits, two things happen. First the manufactures get less productive, Second money that taxpayers would have used in some other part of the economy are not being used. See the fallacy of the Broken glass. Because the dumping economy is not growing in other areas those areas are prime targets for competition from other economies, meaning that the money in those areas travel out of the dumping economy to some where else. To simplify, if the economy that was dumped on enters into the dumping economy’s weak areas the money that was lost to dumping is more than made up for.

    The long and short of this is that the taxpayers of the dumping economies are paying the consumers of the dumped economies to buy their products. If you go to buy a pair of jeans and everywhere you go the price is $50 (ikr), but this one place it costs $40 will you buy it? Of course. Should you feel guilty? No, because when you go to the counter to buy the jeans and the price comes up as $50 and the clerk fishes in his pocket and gives you $10 what does it matter to you.

    The best real world example for any of us to understand this is with MMO’s (online multiplayer games) with markets. I talk to my friends that try to dump and I see people try to do it all the time. It drove the point home so thoroughly with me I will never be fooled by the convolutions of countries doing it ever again.

      Voyager in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 12:00 am

      Thank you for taking the time to explain the position.

      Unfortunately my thoughts are not nearly so collected on this just yet. What springs to mind however, are the current Chinese control over rare earth elements, and their recent escalation in agitation for control over Taiwan.

      While in the long run, state subsidizing of control over a resource harms the state’s overall economy, we did see the Russians use it to great effect in the last few years in inhibiting Europe from responding to their adventurism. I can easily see China doing the same thing with steel and rare earth minerals.

      While markets will respond to longer term price hikes, a three to six month loss of supply, followed by a return to controlled prices does not leave much time for functional start-ups to get under way. The Saudi’s have been doing this quite a bit with oil prices; the current price hike has kicked off a bunch of fraking movements again, but if they do another price drop in a few months, it’s going to drive people out of the industry.

        Milhouse in reply to Voyager. | June 1, 2018 at 12:11 am

        The Chinese do not control rare earth elements. They control cheap rare earth elements; so long as they’re willing to sell them cheaply it doesn’t make sense to get them elsewhere. But the moment they raise their prices there are plenty of other places to get them. So it makes no sense to force the price up now.

          Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | June 1, 2018 at 4:13 am

          Nonsense.

          The “rare earth” issue here has resulted in both Canada and Japan investing in developing feasible large scale production. In Canada, as a byproduct of their oil sands production. In Japan, in the sea off their coast – they’ve discovered an enormous supply.

          Both need to invest heavily to get their industries up and running. Higher prices for a few years on these will, in the long run, result in much lower prices for generations.

          Shane in reply to Milhouse. | June 1, 2018 at 8:03 am

          OMG really, you just proved his comments on the subject. Can you not see what is happening here?

Don’t ever underestimate Donald Trump.

Ever.

It’s a tactic which can invigorate US manufacturing.We’re subsidizing EU military in a socialist cocoon; same for Canada and anti-American Mexico which isn’t socialist – it’s a drug cartel. Fair Trade should mean no tariffs by anyone, but it doesn’t exist.

Brace yourselves: A week ago, President Trump “instructed Secretary Ross to consider initiating a Section 232 investigation into imports of automobiles, including trucks, and automotive parts to determine their effects on Americas national security.

https://publicpool.kinja.com/subject-statement-from-the-president-on-potential-nati-1826277073

NAFTA evolved into a gateway into the U.S. market. Asian economic interests, large multinational corporations, invested in Mexico and Canada as a way to work around any direct trade deals with the U.S. By shipping parts to Mexico and Canada to satellite facilities, Asia and and some European corporations exploited the agreement.

This move closes that door. Now, the real negotiations will commence, and a more acceptable and fair deal will have to be developed.

It’s like pulling a bad tooth: It might hurt initially, but will end up saving your life.

    IF the Chinese (or any country) wants to take money from their taxpayers and give it to me, I say, more power to them.

    If the Chinese (or any country) wants to destroy any incentive to innovation in their economy, I say, fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.

      Aarradin in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 4:09 am

      China does it to destroy competition and gain market share. Then, they raise prices.

      YOU might not be one of the tens of thousands that loses their job, but when factories close here it can devastate the economy throughout an entire community – sometimes even an entire state.

      Trump is looking out for American interests here. You are shilling for China.

        Shane in reply to Aarradin. | June 1, 2018 at 8:06 am

        OK, since you will not (or can not see) how this works I suggest this. Get a trial account on World of Warcraft. Pick an item on the market and then get that item and dump it on the market. Watch closely what happens. If you are honest with yourself you will see the complete fallacy of your arguments.

          Fen in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 1:05 pm

          I played the MMO market (DDO) for several years and I’m not clear what you are getting at. I know that if I bought an item off the market and dumped it right back onto the market I could expect about a 30% loss. Very unwise strategy.

          Ironically, the WOW market was thrown out of balance by Chinese plat farmers, paid pennies to harvest items to flood and corner the market with the outrageous prices, because on the other end they were selling in game currency for real world cash. Suddenly that magic sword that bid for 4,000gp was now listed at 4,000,000gp.

          There’s a hysterical fan vid about they Chinese destroyed the WOW economy.

          https://youtu.be/0dkkf5NEIo0

          Shane in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm

          Here is the strat. buy all of a certain item, preferable one that people want. You need some reserves to do this, but you must buy it all. Then you start to put the items back on the market near the highest price that paid (dump them if you will). If the strat works (and it never does) then you will make bank because you “cornered” the market.

          People always complained about the gold farmers or w/e, but the truth is that there is always an exchange between your time and and monetary wealth. I was able to easily make money on the markets by timing my buying and selling. It was only when I had to make panicked buys or sells that I lost (I worked very hard to keep this to a minimum). This discipline translates very well into the RL.

    Aarradin in reply to Leslie Eastman. | June 1, 2018 at 4:26 am

    Nice to see at least one of the writers here at LI with a basic understanding of the issue.

    You should write articles on this subject rather than the clueless person who wrote the one above. Reads like the latest release from the Chamber of Commerce RINO’s that don’t want to give up their factories in China.

      Shane in reply to Aarradin. | June 1, 2018 at 8:08 am

      The sad thing about a person with an inflated sense of understanding is that they don’t even know how wrong they are because they would have to have an understanding of the issue to understand how badly they are off. Jordan Peterson explains this exceptionally well.

Besides, we can find fun, new allies. Australia, Brazil and South Korea have completed trade agreements with the U.S. and will remain exempt from tariffs and Japan is close to signing an agreement.

Poor little NeverTrumpers and anti-Trumpers like Milhouse and Rags. Still lying to everyone who will listen.

Interesting that Rags and Mils don’t mention how China dumps their steel on an intermediary (Like Canada, Mexico, and others) so it can be sold to the US to dodge tariff and other regulations.

I guess the Indian terrorist supporting Trudeau is unhappy he won’t be able to profit as a middleman from selling Chinese steel to the US. Fancy that.

And Rags and Milhouse won’t say a word about it.

    Milhouse in reply to tphillip. | May 31, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    I don’t mention it because I don’t care. “Dumping”, to the extent that it even exists, is a good thing. In the long run it can’t and doesn’t exist, but in the short run it happens all the time. Someone finds himself with a surplus of something and dumps it on the market. When this happens domestically we call it a good thing, and we take advantage. So why would we not want to take advantage when a foreigner does it?

    Just more economic illiteracy from you.

      Shane in reply to Milhouse. | May 31, 2018 at 10:41 pm

      @Millhouse

      Just more economic illiteracy from you.

      Why say this?

        Fen in reply to Shane. | May 31, 2018 at 11:13 pm

        “why say this?”

        For the usual reason – he’s insecure about the validity of his argument so he feels it necessary to prop it up with ad hom.

          Shane in reply to Fen. | May 31, 2018 at 11:21 pm

          His arguments are sound, I don’t sense that he feels insecure about them. Him saying what he did wasn’t ad hominem, it was simply a personal attack, that was a biting form of the truth.

          That you responded might be the reason that he said it. Did you need to respond? Are you any better than him by jabbing back?

          You can attack me, that is your prerogative, but do you think that helps the discourse become more or less toxic?

        Milhouse in reply to Shane. | May 31, 2018 at 11:20 pm

        Because tphillip’s got form. Go read his comments on other threads. I challenge you to find even one that’s of any value.

      fast182 in reply to Milhouse. | May 31, 2018 at 11:00 pm

      In a textbook, yes, dumping can’t last very long. Quite true. But we live in the real world, where the US budget deficit and trade imbalance feed each other, to the benefit of the political class and large multinational companies, and at the expense of the working/middle class. We couldn’t run such a massive budget deficit unless there was another country with lots of excess US dollars looking for a home. (That’s China, for those slowed by their TDS meds.) And Trump seems to honestly be trying to break the cycle. The sausage making process is messy, but I still love me some beer brats. Godspeed, Mr Trump.

        Shane in reply to fast182. | May 31, 2018 at 11:15 pm

        US budget deficit and trade imbalance feed each other, to the benefit of the political class and large multinational companies, and at the expense of the working/middle class.

        @fast182 you are in way over your head. I suggest you step back and learn what precisely these things mean and what, if any, relation they have to each other.

        tom_swift in reply to fast182. | May 31, 2018 at 11:44 pm

        Quite true.

        MH has his own special definition of the word “dumping”; as we’ve seen before, it leads to some very peculiar statements.

          Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | June 1, 2018 at 12:08 am

          I do not. I use it in the completely standard sense. Dumping means selling something at a loss. Usually this happens when people find themselves with a surplus and need to move it quickly, so they mark it down.

    Shane in reply to tphillip. | May 31, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    This isn’t about Trump. I support Trump I will vote for him. I find he has done many good things for the US.

    This is basic economics not pro vs. anti Trump.

    I have provided an explanation of the economics further up. If there is debate to be had it is over the economics not Trump.

      Fen in reply to Shane. | May 31, 2018 at 11:19 pm

      I appreciate your intellectual honesty. There are a few points I not sure I agree with, but I’m reconsidering my position because you come across as unbiased and rational.

        Shane in reply to Fen. | May 31, 2018 at 11:26 pm

        I am not always that way, Rags can send me to tilt city, but thank you.

        I would like for people to understand what is exactly at play in this situation, I feel that I understand it solidly, so I feel like I can help bring clarification.

        I appreciate those times when I am not sure or I am ignorant of a subject and I don’t know all of the points; when commenters provide clear point counter point. This helps me grow and though I don’t directly say it, I am glad they know more than I so that I can learn.

        🙂
        🙂

    bw222 in reply to tphillip. | May 31, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    Rags claims to be a lawyer so he likely wouldn’t recognize the truth if it hit him pasted to the grille of a Peterbilt.

Ah, the “I love cheap sh!t and couldn’t care less about other people’s jobs” crowd is out in force.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Trump is simply keeping another campaign promise.

Fair trade doesn’t exist. Try importing a car into Japan some time. Every vehicle is individually inspected. It adds about %500 to the cost of the vehicle and takes about six weeks. This is in addition to steep import taxes.

    Shane in reply to bw222. | May 31, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    You like to pay extra for things because the workers need jobs? Perhaps you are one of those folks that gives the government more money at the end of the year on top of the taxes you already paid? I like Trump but seriously I don’t want to pay more for shit than I have to. I think secretly that everyone agrees (pssst … even the liberals).

    Fair trade doesn’t exist.

    To paraphrase Al Pacino in Glenn Gerry Glenn Ross … Their taxpayers are just waiting to give you their money, are you man enough to take it?

      MSO in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 8:09 am

      You like to pay extra for things because the workers need jobs?

      Anything to get that bum of mine out of the basement.

    Milhouse in reply to bw222. | May 31, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    “I love cheap sh!t and couldn’t care less about other people’s jobs” is precisely what political liberalism, now known as conservatism, was founded on. It’s both economically and morally correct. Cheap shit is not only more important than other people’s jobs, it’s the only reason jobs exist in the first place. Economies exist to support consumption, not production; the only reason to produce anything is so it can be consumed. When you sacrifice consumption to support production you’re behaving insanely. More than that, it is immoral to force the general public to pay more for everything they buy, just so the people who sell it can make more money. That is exactly the same thing as reaching into everyone’s pocket and stealing money so you can give it to the special interests.

    Did you know that the very term “special interests” was invented by Smith to describe those who demand and benefit from protection? Those people whose jobs you think are more important than the general interest of the consumer?

      Shane in reply to Milhouse. | May 31, 2018 at 11:41 pm

      In other words …

      Full Production > Full Employment.

        Shane in reply to Shane. | May 31, 2018 at 11:43 pm

        I want to delete my previous post because I don’t want to explain it. I think I wrote to quickly on Millhouse’s post, is explanation is solid.

      tmiker in reply to Milhouse. | June 1, 2018 at 12:40 am

      that would be a great sentiment for the President of a nation I guess?

        Milhouse in reply to tmiker. | June 1, 2018 at 1:13 am

        Yes, it would. It’s the president’s job to stand up for the general interest and say no to the special interests.

        Ragspierre in reply to tmiker. | June 1, 2018 at 8:35 am

        It worked really well for Coolidge and (mostly) for Reagan. When it’s been ignored, as under Nixon and FDR, it’s always spelled disaster by degrees.

    tom_swift in reply to bw222. | May 31, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    I love cheap sh!t

    This is the conceptual basis of what economics calls “rational choice”.

      tmiker in reply to tom_swift. | June 1, 2018 at 12:46 am

      Trade policy is a bit more complicated than a consumer going to the store and buying a head of lettuce. Nafta loophole equals US companies moving infrastructure outside of the US, fewer jobs, less investment, lower tax base, downward pressure on wages. The POTUS has to look at more than the cost of his toothpaste.

        Shane in reply to tmiker. | June 1, 2018 at 8:11 am

        And that is what confuses most people, it isn’t that complicated.

        If given four objects a bicycle, a ball, a truck and a plate. It may be confusing how they are related until the concept of red is understood. Then it is easy.

        Ragspierre in reply to tmiker. | June 1, 2018 at 8:54 am

        “Trade policy” means some elitist “bright” dicking around with people’s choices. We know how central planning isn’t just stupid, it’s evil.

        tom_swift in reply to tmiker. | June 1, 2018 at 9:00 am

        Trade policy isn’t “rational choice” as the phrase is used in economics texts.

        Rational choice is the term for buying behavior by an individual or a group/business/government, which will try to maximize the benefit it derives from expenditure of its finite resources.

        Trade policy includes a number of things, but one is the systematic attempt to make one choice more or less attractive to the buyer than it would be otherwise.

          Ragspierre in reply to tom_swift. | June 1, 2018 at 9:47 am

          …or what Hayek called “the fatal conceit”. “Brights” dicking around with an entire economy has never resulted in EITHER good economic results or liberty. Logically, it cannot. Historically is has not.

Mobil 1…..Sorry, I thought this was one of those interesting oil threads.

Name 1 time when brinksmanship has failed Trump.

Don’t bring a gun to a knife fight if you don’t intend to or know how to use it.

You all are missing a few minor details, I worked for a Japanese company that was part of a major auto manufacturer. They would only buy equipment and materials from other Japanese manufacturers. Even if a local manufacturer had a better product for cheaper they would still buy the product from japan. I witnessed them ship aluminum from Canada that was made in japan, Parent company would ship the raw materials to Canada, Canada would do minimal work on the material, then ship it to the US at very inflated material costs. All under the guise of free trade with NAFTA. the U.S company would sell the finished product back to the parent company at a rate that just prevented the company from taking a loss.

This is called money laundering in my book. It becomes obvious when a company that employs 5000 workers in the U.S that absolutely never shows a profit or a loss.

I have seen the books, they are soo cooked you could make pot roast with them.

Look we all know tariffs are not a good thing, no one is arguing that, but the sticking points with NAFTA are simple.

U.S. wants a 5 year sunset clause so the treaty can be renegotiated and kept up to date more often. Any first year business person will tell you that that is not a bad thing.

The other sticking point is that the U.S. wants increased North American content in automobiles. If Canada and Mexico were being honest they would want the same because it would mean more manufacturing jobs for everyone.

The fallacy here is that both Canada, Mexico, the COC and to some extent the EU, have created entire industries and economies on exploiting loopholes in NAFTA.

Now I expect at least 2 people on this blog are going to disagree with me, be an adult and express an actual argument. Don’t say read a 200+ year old book or just call me a name because I disagree with you.

    starride in reply to starride. | June 1, 2018 at 12:44 am

    *From:* John Bennett
    *Date:* May 31, 2018 at 9:19:00 PM EDT
    *Subject:* *In-town pool report #6 – Trump NAFTA statement*

    The White House asked the pool to distribute the below statement from President Trump:
    Statement from the President Regarding Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement
    May 31, 2018
    The United States has been taken advantage of for many decades on trade. Those days are over. Earlier today, this message was conveyed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada: The United State will agree to a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all. —
    **
    John T. Bennett
    White House correspondent
    Roll Call
    @BennettJohnT – Twitter

      fast182 in reply to starride. | June 1, 2018 at 7:55 am

      Boom. NAFTA is dead. Trump can now cancel it at any time. Justin’s gonna’ need more than a new pair of sparkle socks to fix this one.

    Ronbert in reply to starride. | June 1, 2018 at 8:32 am

    I also worked for a Japanese automobile company Tier 1 supplier.
    Everything you said is true. I questioned a PO once and you would have thought I had committed treason.

Quick question: these Establishment Republicans that seem to be owned by the Chamber of Commerce and are always selling out their base, are they for or against this?

    Aarradin in reply to Fen. | June 1, 2018 at 3:59 am

    Those RINO’s are the ones pushing this propaganda.

    They’re heavily invested in businesses that have moved their manufacturing out of the US.

    They don’t want to have to adjust to the new Trumpian reality where it is now better for them to relocate their manufacturing back to the US.

    For those, like Mary Chastain, that have swallowed this propaganda without any thought whatsoever, here’s a question:

    How is it better for American workers to have the products they buy made in Canada, Mexico, China, or elsewhere, rather than in the US?

    If you think its better for us to NOT manufacture products, then 1) You’re a RINO, 2) You’re wrong, 3) Wake up, would you? This is not a difficult issue to grasp

      Ragspierre in reply to Aarradin. | June 1, 2018 at 7:39 am

      The U.S. manufactures at a record high, and, like all developed nations, manufactures what we produce most efficiently and at greatest economic advantage.

      That’s the magic of market economics, which conservatives support both for practical and ideological reasons. Market economics allow people to chose from whom they will buy, and how their property will be used. This is a good thing. Having BIG GOVERNMENT dictate those choices has always been not only bad for the economy but evil, as well.

      Shane in reply to Aarradin. | June 1, 2018 at 8:23 am

      If you think its better for us to NOT manufacture products, then 1) You’re a RINO, 2) You’re wrong, 3) Wake up, would you? This is not a difficult issue to grasp

      WTF is this? Your argument? Here lies nothing. You have no clue how any of this works but if you ACT smart of enough then maybe someone will believe you.

      If Texans make cars more efficiently i.e. cheaper than New Yorkers are we to believe that we buy cars from New York? If Mexicans make cars cheaper than Texans are we to believe we should buy cars from Texas? or maybe instead we should buy them from New York?

      But, but, but you say the money stays in good ole Murica and that is better than those filthy Mexicans getting Murican money. And there is the rub, we pay for the car with dollars. Dollars are useless to Mexicans unless they convert them to Peso’s. When a dollar is converted to a Peso, do you know what happens? Is it magic? Does the Mexican government just print up more Peso’s? What happens, on the conversion is the whole point of all of this and why most don’t understand what is happening here. I leave it to you to figure out how currency markets work.

        Mac45 in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 12:20 pm

        Protectionism exists even among states within the US. Individual states offer tax and other incentives to encourage businesses to move into their area and employ their workers. And, those businesses encourage the expansion of other businesses within the state. This increases their internal economy by increasing employment, increasing taxes collected and decreasing tax liabilities of social welfare programs. If the US simply let anyone who was unemployed starve, then people, who are employed, would not care where their goods came from. But, this is not the case.

        Trade adheres to the same economic laws as any other economic endeavor. more money going out than coming in is a bad thing. To survive, the entity has to do exactly what this country is doing now, borrow money to keep going. And, then the entity has to turn a profit in order to pay off the loan. So, sooner or later, the entity has to have more money coming in than is going out, to survive.

          Shane in reply to Mac45. | June 1, 2018 at 12:57 pm

          You are starting to get the point of the post. Is protectionism better intra-state or inter-state? Logical consistency says neither, protectionism is always bad.

          Shane in reply to Mac45. | June 1, 2018 at 1:03 pm

          more money going out than coming in is a bad thing.

          Here is where your failure of understanding lies. Think Newtons fourth law, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

          Money going out has to come back in. There is a market mechanism that will control how it comes back in. If “too much” money goes out, then the currency market will pull back in the excess, and balance is achieved.

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | June 1, 2018 at 9:50 pm

          “Is protectionism better intra-state or inter-state? Logical consistency says neither, protectionism is always bad.”

          Sometimes, protectionism is necessary.

          Free trade only works if either both parties are of comparable wealth or if each party can more cheaply produce a comparable quantity of a specific item which the other wants. Nation A can produce wheat cheaper than natio0n B. so, nation B buys its wheat and wheat products from nation A. nation B produces apples more cheaply than nation A, so nation A buys its apples from nation B. Now if the value of the wheat and apples is equal, then you have neutral balance of trade and both benefit.

          However, in today’s global economy, equality does not exist. The United states, has a much higher cost of manufacture than many other countries, Because of this increased cost of production most of the consumer items sold in the US are imported. When something is imported, that means the the money paid for that item, by the middle man, goes outside the country. Also, because of the higher cost of production in the US, US goods are not within the economic grasp of most of the inhabitants of countries outside the US. So, the US buys much more foreign produce than they sell in other countries. This results in a negative balance of trade and a negative cash flow. And, this eventually leads to economic failure. So, protectionism is a must for rich nations.

          Further the US is in the unique position of representing 27% of the total world consumer market. what that means is that if we allow or, better yet, encourage US firms to manufacture those consumer items in the US and sell them here, our internal economy can actually support itself.

          Now, one thing that the people who wring their hands and whine about increased prices of non-perishable consumer goods fail to address is the huge increase in the commodities which US consumers really need, on a day to day basis. [ http://www.visualcapitalist.com/prices-are-skyrocketing-but-only-for-things-you-actually-need/ ]

        Mac45 in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 12:23 pm

        By the way, printing unsecured currency is exactly what every country in the world does now. The US has been doing it for decades.

          Shane in reply to Mac45. | June 1, 2018 at 12:54 pm

          I asked you to think, you didn’t. I know you can because you reason out arguments in other areas quite adeptly, and to my ignorant benefit. Why you won’t do that here I do not understand.

VaGentleman | June 1, 2018 at 1:42 am

Utopian socialists < REALITY > utopian capitalists

    Shane in reply to VaGentleman. | June 1, 2018 at 8:25 am

    100% agree with your point. In fact gave me quite a chuckle … well played.

    But ask yourself this, which way do you want the pointer to go? Left or Right?

      VaGentleman in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 11:13 am

      Capitalism is by far the better system. We just have to remember not to treat it as a perfect system.

“I’ll add my two cents here, too. This is AWFUL.”

Wow, that’s incredibly dumb.

Trump has been using tariffs as a bargaining chip for renegotiating trade agreements.

Very successfully, too.

Haven’t you been paying attention?

He imposes tariffs, then gets concessions on trade, and then lifts the tariff. Very effective.

So now, NAFTA is on the table – and Trump just played a “trump” card.

He’ll get most of what he wants on NAFTA because he’s made it crystal clear that, if he doesn’t, these tariffs will remain in place.

His success so far, with multiple countries, using this tactic has been enormously beneficial for American workers and consumers.

You really shouldn’t be writing articles on issues you know absolutely nothing about.

    Ragspierre in reply to Aarradin. | June 1, 2018 at 7:20 am

    I thought attacking LI authors was bad…???

    I think in this case, the author knows more about the subject than you do. It’s apparent.

      fast182 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 1, 2018 at 7:35 am

      That’s rich, coming from the most caustic person on this blog. Get professional help. I’m sure there’s a TDS support group nearby.

The current spot price of aluminum is $1.0264 per lb. or 6 cents per oz. A beer can weighs roughly 15g or 0.53 oz. So there’s about three and a half cents worth of aluminum in a beer can. Under these tariffs, that will increase by 10% or two cents per six-pack. OMG! The Humanity!

    Shane in reply to snopercod. | June 1, 2018 at 8:34 am

    So let’s see across 4,000,000 beer cans that’s … ohh wait beer cans aren’t the only things that uses this. What! there might be more of an impact on other industries? So how much money disappears down this tariff hole? Where does the money go? I think if you knew where the money went you might really be pissed and the $.02 Tariff on your beer can might really piss you off.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 2:04 pm

      Processing aluminum from ore is expensive, reprocessing it is not. Most of the aluminum we use is probably reprocessed and not going to be subjected to a tariff.

Returning to economic reality…

1. the U.S. imports a small fraction of its steel and aluminum from China

2. there is no “strategic necessity” for tariffs, and that’s a lie used to justify Duh Donald’s illegal screwing with the economy

3. tariffs are a tax on every U.S. consumer and business using the items involved

4. they distort markets IMMENSELY, and actually even harm the special interests they’re intended to “protect”

5. ESPECIALLY where tariffs are imposed and “suspended” on a whim, they inject enormous uncertainty into the entire U.S. economy

6. they are BIG GOVERNMENT dictating what you or I may do with our property, and who we may deal with

7. there are ample mechanisms in place to deal with trade practices that do not conform to international agreements; they’ve been used successfully by the U.S. for decades, and are being used now

8. Duh Donald does not like trade (by you), understand markets, and has views on both that are indistinguishable from those of Bernie Sanders

    fast182 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 1, 2018 at 7:52 am

    Rags, congratulations on a post without a direct insult.

    China and others are using Mexico and Canada as a backdoor into the US market, via NAFTA. That’s what these tariffs are about. It’s not a coincidence that Robert Lighthizer, the chief negotiator on NAFTA, was part of the trade delegation that went to China. They are directly linked.

    Trump has positioned himself perfectly to be able to walk away from NAFTA at any moment, probably if the negotiations with China go south. This has been in the works since the moment he took office. Remember that he did his world tour and must have locked up things with India, Saudi Arabia, and others very early on. For proof, look at Justin’s recent embarrassing trade trip to India…he showed up about a year too late. Australia, South Korea, and others have avoided the tariffs by making their own deals. But I think Canada has terrible leadership and are now owned by the Chinese, who could crash the epic Canadian housing bubble at any moment with a small change to their domestic currency controls.

    The tariffs also help us with the EU, who’s not playing nice on Iran.

    All in all, this all seems very well set up by Trump. We’ll know soon enough.

      Ragspierre in reply to fast182. | June 1, 2018 at 8:00 am

      We know where commodities come from. There’s not “secret” back door for the fraction of our steel and aluminum that comes from China.

      Robert Lighthizer is a BIG GOVERNMENT anti-trade thug. Even other members of T-rump’s economics team think he’s bonkers.

      What you apparently think is smooth and groovy I think is small tyrannies by Progressives with some rightist views. Anything good can be had in better ways. And it should be.

        fast182 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 1, 2018 at 8:02 am

        Well, Trump has perfectly positioned himself to be able to cancel NAFTA at any moment. We’ll see who’s right soon enough.

          Shane in reply to fast182. | June 1, 2018 at 8:39 am

          Please define “right”.

          Trump IS positioning himself to cancel NAFTA. He will probably accomplish this. In this way you are right. However on the the issue of economic impact of imposing tariffs, Rags is right. So please define what you mean by right.

          fast182 in reply to fast182. | June 1, 2018 at 9:19 am

          The NAFTA issue must be viewed as one small battle in the overall fight against China. Cancelling NAFTA is a major bargaining chip for Trump, because it is so profitable to the Chinese. So, perhaps “right” means that Trump holds the NAFTA hammer over China’s head until we have verifiable denuclearization of North Korea. I know, it’s highly unlikely, but I would call that a win.

          Or “right” might be Trump cancels NAFTA, everybody feels some degree of pain in the short term, but long term we see companies transferring operations from Canada and Mexico back to the US, increasing jobs and investment, without excessive inflation.

          Ragspierre in reply to fast182. | June 1, 2018 at 9:51 am

          What you’re advocating is realpolitik using gasoline to fight a small fire. Brilliant. That’s always worked so well in the past.

    Mac45 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 1, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    “1. the U.S. imports a small fraction of its steel and aluminum from China”

    True, The US imports most of its steel products from Canada. It does directly import 15% of its aluminum from China and 38% from Canada.

    “2. there is no “strategic necessity” for tariffs, and that’s a lie used to justify Duh Donald’s illegal screwing with the economy”

    This is false. tariffs increase the incentive for strategic products to be produced within the host country, or controlled by indigenous business entities, thereby reducing the impact upon the host country by other nations controlling these products. This is why we have laws against private monopolies and restraint of trade laws in the US.

    “3. tariffs are a tax on every U.S. consumer and business using the items involved”

    True. But, tariffs, if properly applied, can actually reduce the tax burden of the citizens of a nation, by replacing direct taxes on the citizen.

    “4. they distort markets IMMENSELY, and actually even harm the special interests they’re intended to “protect””

    No, tariffs do not distort markets, to any significant extent. A market is nothing more than a group of people who desire a product. Cost does not impact the market, as the demand remains constant. It reduces the percentage of the market which is willing to purchase the product at that price point. Tariffs rarely, if ever, actually hurt the industries that they seek to protect. One of the things that tariffs do is to stimulate competition, by allowing indigenous business to compete with foreign ones.

    “5. ESPECIALLY where tariffs are imposed and “suspended” on a whim, they inject enormous uncertainty into the entire U.S. economy”

    The imposition of tariffs can not be imposed upon a whim. This would be counterproductive. They have to be imposed for good reason. While certainty is desirable in business, the certainty that you will eventually run out of money and have to close your doors is not a very desirable certainty.

    “6. they are BIG GOVERNMENT dictating what you or I may do with our property, and who we may deal with”

    Yep. But then so are anti-trust laws, banking regulations, business licensing and so forth. Not all government actions is bad.

    “7. there are ample mechanisms in place to deal with trade practices that do not conform to international agreements; they’ve been used successfully by the U.S. for decades, and are being used now”

    Not working. Again, far more money is leaving the US than is coming in. This is not a good thing for the US citizen, in the long run.

    “8. Duh Donald does not like trade (by you), understand markets, and has views on both that are indistinguishable from those of Bernie Sanders”

    Trump made money by having a positive cash flow. He did that through trade. He provided a service and people bought it. in some cases he was able to undercut his competition or maximize his profit by playing upon the greed of government officials. But, this is no different than international trade. The point being, that he was successful at it. So, while I think that Trump is a bit naive in how he uses military might as a diplomatic tool, in the realm of economic diplomacy I think he has a good idea exactly what he is doing. We’ll just have to wait and see how he does. As the US represents 27% of the world consumer economy, i don’t think that anything that Trump does will destroy the nation.

      Shane in reply to Mac45. | June 1, 2018 at 1:22 pm

      Point 2.

      tariffs increase the incentive for strategic products to be produced within the host country

      It is hoped. But when the tariffs block out other non subsidized products and the prices rise the incentive for alternatives becomes great. See Sugar. Control never works the way that it is intended.

      Point 3.

      This is why we have laws against private monopolies and restraint

      We don’t. There are many monopolies in this country. What we have is an ambiguous terrible law called anti-trust that we can use against companies that we don’t like whenever we feel like it.

      True. But, tariffs, if properly applied, can actually reduce the tax burden of the citizens of a nation

      So we will raise taxes because it will lower them? This makes no sense whatsoever. I am still chuckling at the socialist thinking that we can “properly apply” these tariffs. I guess we just haven’t properly applied them in the past but this time it will be different.

      I read through the rest of your points, your lack of economic understanding is breath taking. I am not even going to try to unpack the whoopers contained within.

      Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | June 2, 2018 at 9:46 am

      “No, tariffs do not distort markets, to any significant extent. A market is nothing more than a group of people who desire a product. Cost does not impact the market, as the demand remains constant. It reduces the percentage of the market which is willing to purchase the product at that price point. Tariffs rarely, if ever, actually hurt the industries that they seek to protect. One of the things that tariffs do is to stimulate competition, by allowing indigenous business to compete with foreign ones.”

      That one paragraph demonstrates you have no understanding of basic logic, much less economics.

      “A market is nothing more than a group of people who desire a product.”

      This is a stunningly false ignorant assertion. Markets consist of parties willing to trade. There is likely an infinite “group of people who desire” a life free of risk, but there’s nobody who can provide it. Hence, there’s not any market for a life free of risk.

      “Cost does not impact the market, as the demand remains constant. It reduces the percentage of the market which is willing to purchase the product at that price point.”

      This is both self-contradictory, and again stupidly false. If you had even the most basic grasp of such a rudimentary concept as the supply/demand relationship, you’d blush to make such a mindless assertion.

      “Tariffs rarely, if ever, actually hurt the industries that they seek to protect. One of the things that tariffs do is to stimulate competition, by allowing indigenous business to compete with foreign ones.”

      The opposite is true as to everything you said there. Tariffs shield producers of protected products or services from competition. They repress competition. They artificially raise prices. BOTH those effects lead protected producers to become fat, lazy, and stupid as they increasingly depend on both. Eventually, inevitably, and historically, the protection ends and the protected producer is exposed to the reality of the market with devastating effects.

      You really should not try writing on these subjects.

The US runs a budget deficit, and has to issue new debt, plus the debt that’s expiring has to rolling over into new debt. This all must be bought with US Dollars. Who has hundreds of billions of excess US Dollars? China, due to our trade deficit. It’s not a coincidence that the trade imbalance and budget deficit are roughly the same size over time. The two are directly linked. They got out of balance in the late 1980’s, at the peak of the Japan export bubble, when there wasn’t enough new bonds being issued to absorb all of their excess dollars, so they started buying US real estate, which inflated the prices.

Perhaps you, Rags, and Millhouse should go start your own blog, since none of the rest of us seem to be able to keep up with your dizzying intellects.

    Ragspierre in reply to fast182. | June 1, 2018 at 7:53 am

    “The two are directly linked.”

    Well, no. They are only “linked” in any way by the fact that our out-of-control Federal spending is only made possible because other people invest in U.S. debt instruments.

    Were our spending brought under control, people with excess dollars would still need to find ways to invest them, and that would still be a good thing for the U.S.

    Markets are good things. Those who oppose them are anti-liberty just plain stupid. Bill Whittle explains…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLD6VChcWCE

      fast182 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 1, 2018 at 8:00 am

      If we magically balanced our budget, and there was no new US debt to be issued, all of those excess US Dollars from the trade imbalance would come back to the US and cause inflation, which would cause people and government to have less to spend on imported items, which would cause the trade imbalance to decline. In other words, they are directly related.

        Ragspierre in reply to fast182. | June 1, 2018 at 8:24 am

        Wow. That’s amazingly false and stupid. Spend some time with Milton Friedman.

        Shane in reply to fast182. | June 1, 2018 at 8:47 am

        This:

        If we magically balanced our budget, and there was no new US debt to be issued

        Is not related to this:

        all of those excess US Dollars from the trade imbalance would come back to the US and cause inflation

        Dollars coming back if they were to start to “overwhelm” the main market would create upward pressure on the Dollar in the currency markets. Thereby slowing the amount of Dollars being converted. Once again market mechanisms working to stabilize and regulate markets.

        The only thing creating instability in the market is the hand of the government.

          fast182 in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 9:11 am

          But the dollars accumulated by China due to trade are useless anywhere but the US. Everybody else has too many dollars, India, Germany, Japan, etc. They have to convert them, because there’s a ton more coming right behind them. Just look at the Canadian housing bubble, which is largely fed by excess Canadian dollars held by individual Chinese, which is further proof of the Chinese involvement in the NAFTA backdoor.

          Shane in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 9:21 am

          And as I have posted if they force the conversion and dump on the currency market they will be severely punished and all of the gain that they had by dumping will turn into a monumental loss in the currency markets. Soooooooo we gain on their subsidized goods and we gain on their panicked currency conversion. How again is this bad for us?

          fast182 in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 10:55 am

          Shane, if we focus solely on the currency markets, then yes you are correct. But the currency market is not the only place those dollars can go. Look at the real estate inflation that occurred in the US in the late 1980s due to the repatriation of Japan’s excess US dollars (because at that time there wasn’t enough US government debt on the market), and the current epic inflation of the Canadian housing bubble due to excess Canadian dollars that China received via the NAFTA backdoor.

          Shane in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 1:35 pm

          Ok fast182 where else can currency go? I mean you could use them as toilet paper i.e. destroy them. But if you want to extract the wealth from them you need convert them. There is no other way.

          Look at the real estate inflation that occurred in the US in the late 1980s due to the repatriation of Japan’s excess US dollar

          First of all what currency did the Japanese use to buy real estate? I suspect that you are bringing this example up because you are old enough to remember it. Do you remember the other factors that went along with it. Don’t trust the news as your source because they were just as rotten then as they are now. “The Japanese” bought some high profile buildings … now pay attention … at the top of the market. They were not the only ones buying real estate nor did their purchases make up even a tiny percentage bought. The news slathered their high profile purchases all over the news to whip people into an anti-Japanese frenzy (there were several Hollywood movies on this topic at the time this should be a big red flag for you). When the market collapsed the Japanese, like many others lost there asses.

          The reason for the real estate bubble at that time and the same reason later in the financial crisis wasn’t to do with Japanese trade, it was the same POS that constantly causes these bubbles … the Federal Reserve. Yah know the one that controls the money supply.

      MSO in reply to Ragspierre. | June 1, 2018 at 8:27 am

      …our out-of-control Federal spending is only made possible…

      We need to keep our minds open to the capacity career politicians exhibit for mendacious duplicity.

      fast182 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 1, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      Rag, that Bill Whittle video was great. I’ve seen it before. Whittle is awesome. Everyone should watch and support his efforts. But ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that he said in any way contradicts what I’ve said here. Maybe you need some new sources, like Thomas Sowell, and an older book that he recommended, Edward Bainfield’s The Unheavenly City.

      Just more of your bluster and lame attempts at intimidation, I guess.

        Ragspierre in reply to fast182. | June 2, 2018 at 4:26 am

        Anyone with a working brain who watches that presentation understands that EVERYTHING Whittle says contradicts your BIG GOVERNMENT nonsense.

        But you’ll just keep on. That’s apparent. You’re just a statist at base.

        I’ll go back to first principles; it’s wrong, both in sound economics and morality, to impose central government planning on how we use our property and with whom we chose to trade. It’s never been logically defensible, nor has it worked in the real world.

        Tariffs are not tools for realpolitik. They are a form of redistributive tax on Americans generally in favor of a few special interests.

        T-rump’s trade policies are indistinguishable from Bernie Sanders’ trade policies, and align very nicely with the wet dreams of the AFL-CIO. And you support them.

        Ragspierre in reply to fast182. | June 2, 2018 at 8:09 am

        Take a few minutes and explain what Banfield has to do with anything here.

        You reference seems to be an exercise in name-dropping to burnish something or other, and otherwise entirely pointless.

        Ragspierre in reply to fast182. | June 2, 2018 at 8:18 am

        It’s perverse for you to mention Dr. Sowell, who is as against T-rump’s tariff tantrums as I am.

        https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/trumps-tariffs-could-be-a-catastrophic-mistakeeconomist-thomas-sowell

    Shane in reply to fast182. | June 1, 2018 at 8:51 am

    And you too could have dizzying intellect if you did some research on your own about markets and the economy. I would be happy for it because you would better be able to see tyranny in it’s many forms not just the tyranny the liberals are always trying to foist on us.

      fast182 in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 9:06 am

      A little humility goes a long way.

      I love free markets and individual liberty, and have studied both. But it takes two to tango. You can’t have a one-way free market, like we currently have with China. The last four presidents, from both parties, unilaterally surrendered to China on trade. But not Trump. This is what real negotiations look like, but many can’t recognize it because it’s so rare to have a president who is actually fighting for America.

        Ragspierre in reply to fast182. | June 1, 2018 at 9:22 am

        That’s just more complete bullshit. Read up on trade cases brought and won by the U.S.

          fast182 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 1, 2018 at 9:26 am

          Which part is BS? That I love free markets? That it takes two to tango? That a one-way free market isn’t free? That the last four presidents have unilaterally surrendered? Or that what Trump is doing is now is real negotiations? Oh, it must be the last part you didn’t like, that maybe Trump is doing a good job. Good to know. Your TDS is showing.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 1, 2018 at 9:39 am

          Your ignorance is showing. What you’ve posted here is just false.

          Pretty much every bit. Including your last gratuitous insult.

          “I love free speech, BUT…” Same declaration as to trade.

          Fen in reply to Ragspierre. | June 1, 2018 at 2:38 pm

          I love free speech BUT … Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire

        Shane in reply to fast182. | June 1, 2018 at 9:33 am

        You can’t have a one-way free market

        I don’t know what this means, but I do know that you can have a free market and a semi-free or unfree market, and the facts and logic say that a free market trading with a semi-free or unfree market, the free market will always win. The beauty of a free markets is that you don’t have to worry about your trading partners economic status. All that is necessary is that your own market is free.

          fast182 in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 10:34 am

          One way free trade is trade where one party (China) has a massive government-sponsored program to steal intellectual property, routinely violates patents with government approval, sponsors a crazy third-party nation to create trouble (North Korea), and uses a separate trade deal (NAFTA) to go around any direct tariffs and thereby encourages businesses to move manufacturing operations from the US to Canada and Mexico. In other words, the status quo for the last 30 years, with the approval and encouragement of both the democrats and republicans.

          Shane in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 1:08 pm

          Changing the goalpost on an argument is intellectually dishonest. That you did it means you really can’t support your argument.

          I will make my position clear. Intellectual property theft is … THEFT. I am fully against any form of theft either through fraud, or outright theft.

          You are blinded by your hatred of China, so much so that you can not see that what we are doing is just like China. I don’t want to be like China because I don’t like their destruction of freedom or individual liberty. I really don’t want that tyranny to come to the country that I live in that stands against those things.

          fast182 in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 2:20 pm

          You asked what my use of the term “one way free trade” means, so I explained it. I mention intellectual property theft as one item among four reasons, and included my main point that China’s use of the NAFTA backdoor is vital to whole discussion. How is that moving the goal posts?

          Just because I correctly point out China’s flaws means that, in your book, I hate them? I can point out what I see as the flaws in your argument without hating you. Do you “hate” me now?

          I’d prefer that China clean up their act voluntarily, but it’s naive to think that they’ll change without negative reinforcement, since the current system is so beneficial to them.

I recommend you watch this…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYqzcqDtL3k

It’s one of the best, clearest expositions of why people should be free to chose, and how “trade policy” is largely a Collectivist, elitist notion.

    fast182 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 1, 2018 at 8:52 am

    So if your trading partner doesn’t play fair then what would you advocate…unilateral surrender? We’ve tried that for 30 years, which got you Trump.

      Ragspierre in reply to fast182. | June 1, 2018 at 9:18 am

      That’s complete bullshit. The U.S. brings and wins trade cases every year. We’re doing it now.

      https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/trump-trade-policy-on-china-not-about-enforcing-rules/

        fast182 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 1, 2018 at 9:23 am

        You call the last 30 years of trade with China a “win”?! Good to know.

          Ragspierre in reply to fast182. | June 1, 2018 at 9:33 am

          Read the linked piece. Get back when you’re done.

          W imposed tariffs during his terms. One butcher’s bill shows they cost the U.S. 200,000 NET jobs lost on just one such mistake.

          Shane in reply to fast182. | June 1, 2018 at 9:40 am

          Yes, we benefited from their subsidized products. We took the money that they gave us and built other things that we wanted. How is this a loss?

        fast182 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 1, 2018 at 12:45 pm

        Ah, yes, the National Review. They were great, 20 years ago. Now they’re just a bunch of NeverTrumper hacks. I can see why you’d link to them. You deserve each other. Maybe you should take one of their cruises…they probably have a team of therapists who are specially trained in dealing with TDS. Sounds perfect for you.

          Ragspierre in reply to fast182. | June 2, 2018 at 8:48 am

          I’ve heard that claim before, in defense of not reading citations to very valuable pieces.

          It’s a lie, of course, and one told to justify keeping your mind tightly shut.

          The writers at NR are people who range all across the spectrum of T-rumpian opinion, and include outright T-rump pom-pom wavers like Conrad Black.

          You insist on ignorance. Cool with me.

          Stop it, Rags. Enough. Why do you insist on positing yourself as some sort of grand pumba who bestows judgement on the deplorable great unwashed? If someone perceives NR to be #NeverTrump, so what? They \certainly have proudly and vocally insisted that they are just that. I’d venture to say that pretty much everyone, excepting you but including actual NR writers, know that NR is #NeverTrump. You can’t even get “in” with your own side, apparently. Weird. And sad.

          Don’t think that you are you going to get away this sort of veiled venom, either, Rags. Fast182 isn’t ignorant, you are imposing ridiculous standards on us that somehow, magically don’t apply to you. According to the Rags book of incoherent hate, anyone who opposes your opinion of Trump might as well be in league with Satan and opposed to your self-proclaimed, prim little sermons on your own near-godliness (after all, who but a prim and dainty Rags could possibly spot Trump’s evilness?). Who better to judge truth, justice, and the American way than Rags? Are you so blinded and twisted by your TDS, that you honestly believe it is okay to call others ignorant (while failing to cast the first stone at your own gigantic blindspots and willful ignorance)?

          You are so confused that you don’t even know who among your heroes is proud to call themselves #NeverTrump and who among them are at war with other #NeverTrumpers but still consider themselves #NeverTrump, the bestest evah variety of #NeverTrump, unlike those #NeverTrump wannabes. Dude, if you’re going to hitch your wagon to something, it may behoove you to learn what it is about. At this point, it seems you are the only person who has exactly no idea what #NeverTrump means. But yeah, keep attacking people, calling them ignorant, and dismissing them as close-minded fools . . . not for having done anything more than stating their opinion.

          Rags, here’s the bottom line: you are a judgmental bully who instinctively insults people on a daily basis. The problem, apart from your unfounded arrogance and general disdain for anyone else’s opinion, is that your assessment of their viewpoint is unfounded since your opinions are not just unclear but steeped in sputtering TDS rage. Sadly, you don’t even know what you are talking about most of the time.

          According to you, every person who voted for and /or now supports Trump must support his every utterance, policy position, and the like. You are constantly bringing up policy positions and the like, but only to declare that none of us can possibly get it the way your highly-tuned intellect can. You also often suggest that we’re just too stupid to see or grasp the fine points of your Trump critique (need I remind you that “you’re a big fat liar and so is Trump, na-na-na” does not qualify as viable critique).

          You lash out at us for everything you see wrong in Trump, and you can’t be bothered to engage in a discussion, you just vomit nastiness, dismiss any and all responses (usually as “LIES”!), and then shut down discussion by declaring us too stupid to get your keen insight and general greatness.

          I can support the president and still see flaws in proposed or even existing policy. To you, though, that’s too difficult. Everything has to be “you support Trump as a cultist who worships Cheetos” or “you support me.” That’s bizarre, shallow, and ridiculous. Can you name one president that you’ve supported who didn’t do something with which you disagree? Of course you can, and not just one. So why is it okay for your to generally support Reagan or one of the Bushes but to find some of their policy decisions problematic and even wrong but we can’t support Trump while also seeing areas of weakness? It’s okay for you to support a president despite some of his policy positions, but it’s not okay for anyone else?

          But it’s not that, is it, Rags? You have some sort of visceral hatred not just for Trump but for those who support him. From the prof, to me, to our readers, you just can’t accept that we can support Trump on most things while still questioning others. You’ve got some crazy idea that we are in lock-step with Trump, but no one is. No one. Heck, you’re Mr. Remember Everything Ever Posted Ever, don’t you recall numerous Trump supporters expressing concern right here on LI over any number of Trump statements or moves?

          No one who supports Trump has a completely shut mind, Rags, that’s your invention. All yours. People who don’t agree with you are not ignorant, they simply disagree with your insistence that suggesting that Trump has chosen to wear an attractive tie is some sort of cultist worship that must be condemned to . . . well, who knows what your goal even is. Apparently, you just take satisfaction in attacking people who don’t share your disdain and loathing for President Trump. Dude, you can do that practically anywhere and to greater effect. There are lots and lots of people running around damning anyone and everyone who dares utter a positive word about Trump, go find them, Rags. Those are your people.

          fast182 in reply to fast182. | June 2, 2018 at 9:02 pm

          Fuzzy slippers, well said.

          Ragspierre in reply to fast182. | June 2, 2018 at 9:11 pm

          Only if you’re fluent in spittle-flecked incoherent ranting…

          Barry in reply to fast182. | June 2, 2018 at 11:40 pm

          National Review currently lists 69 authors/contributors.

          Out of that group most are nevertrump. National Review as an entity chose to be nevertrump, famously.

          To suggest NR is not nevertrump is just as disingenuous as claiming not to be a nevertrumper when you spend every waking moment (and probably in your nightmares) proving otherwise.

          Ragspierre in reply to fast182. | June 3, 2018 at 7:51 am

          It would be best to define what you mean by “NeverTrump”, so we can assess the integrity of your name-calling.

          And, of course, you lie; I’ve spent a lot of time and thought on this very thread on pure economics.

          fast182 in reply to fast182. | June 3, 2018 at 12:16 pm

          Rags, I see that you might be active on this old post, so if you’re still lurking then it’s probably just you and me. I’d like to respond to a few things that you said.

          I did review the links that you provided, but I didn’t find them to be persuasive, or relevant to the immediate discussion.

          I mention Bainfield because, as a young man, I learned more about real-world economics from his book than from any of the economic texts. Economics is a social science, with no objective rules. There’s nothing in economics that’s equivalent to 2+2=4. It’s all a study of how people react to stimulus, and nothing more. We have plenty of examples of brilliant academic economists who are fools, like Nobel-prize winning Paul Krugman who said, immediately following Trump’s election, that “If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.” Thomas Sowell and Rose and Milton Friedman are/were brilliant and brave folks. I feel that you do their work a disservice when you claim to be an expert in everything economically related, as though there are objective truths. Nothing in the study of economics is black and white, as you seem to believe (that’s not intended to be an insult, but just my observation of your posts).

          According to the “pure economic” textbooks, the massive US budget deficit should create damaging inflation, and China’s dumping of steel and other items below cost should be self-correcting over time, as just two example. And yet they seem to defy the textbooks. So please consider that tariffs are not always a bad thing, especially if imposed as a means to force our trading partners to clean up their act.

          This moment, the age of Trump, I believe, is our last chance to save the US, and with it freedom. Trump has his flaws, and I didn’t support him during the election (I did vote for him, but that was really a protest vote as I was sure that he’d lose), but I have now come to realize that any of the other Republican hopefuls would have been eaten alive by the progs, just like McCain, Romney, Bush, Dole, etc. They’d have lost, but would done so with grace, and kept the respect of George Will and the National Review cruise ship crowd. And then the progress wave of the last 100 years would have finally crested over us, and we’d be entering Reagan’s sunset years, having to tell “our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

          So, here we are. We can either support the good things that Trump is doing, and honestly criticize the bad things that he does, and pray that he succeeds, or we can cling to our textbooks as we drown. It is my opinion that Trump is the only thing preventing the courrent “cold civil war” from turning into a hot war, a US Civil War 2. Look at the writings of Daniel Greenfield and Kurt Schlichter, who’ve said it much better than I ever could hope to do.

          Thanks for your time.

          Barry in reply to fast182. | June 3, 2018 at 2:04 pm

          “It would be best to define what you mean by “NeverTrump”…”

          NR already defined it:

          Against Trump, by the editors, Jan 22, 2016
          https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/01/donald-trump-conservative-movement-menace/

          Conservatives Against Trump, By NR Staff, Feb 15, 2016
          https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2016/02/15/conservatives-against-trump/

          An old sayin, don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. You are out of your depth trying to be a Pravda writer.

Trade policy isn’t and shouldn’t be constrained only by pricing. Child labor, for instance, is necessary to prevent starvation in certain circumstances, but is harmful in most other circumstances. There is no blanket rule that can satisfy all instances in all circumstances.

An equitable balance of benefits between trading partners is the goal with each partner determining what they may need and the price they are willing to pay for it.

If Ford Motor Company determined trade policy for all US manufacturers, General Motors would understandably be nervous. Now Ford may try to gain such control, but our government, for better or worse, exercises control over trade policy.

Governments regulate and tax everything within their realm and then pretends to explain that the costs belong to the production of various products and services. Trade policy is not exempt from the pernicious hands of government.

Usage taxes are one of the ‘great lies’ of government, with which we lie to ourselves on a continuous basis. Trucks, automobiles and cabs, pay ‘user fees’ to build and maintain highways. It’s almost as if the guy who lives upstairs from the grocery store and doesn’t own a car also doesn’t ‘use’ the highways when he shops for California vegetables, New York wine and Kentucky horse meat from the store downstairs.

Producers are going to produce, consumers are going to consume and the government is going to thrive. Those are given facts. We seem to be arguing that these three facts don’t apply when it comes to trade policy.

    Shane in reply to MSO. | June 1, 2018 at 9:39 am

    So it is best to let individuals sort it out. We don’t like the government telling us who we bake cakes for, why would we want them to tell us who we buy from?

      MSO in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 3:00 pm

      So it is best to let individuals sort it out.

      You’re absolutely correct, but our government never lets us sort it out in any of our other endeavors so why does anybody think it will with trade?

      I found it amusing that so many people treat trade as if it is something the government will leave alone. Back in the day, before John, Luke, Mark & I were corporals, trade tariffs were the government’s prime source of income.

Well, the one thing I am certain of is there’s too much certainty in this room. Over economics of all things.

https://youtu.be/F48yWWtySBw

Which one of you is posting from his yacht in the Caymans 😉

    Shane in reply to Fen. | June 1, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Certainty over fundamental economics is one thing, how it will play out in the arbitrary semi-free world is another.

    Bush cut taxes, tax revenue went up. Trump cut taxes and the “cost” of the added deficit went down. Fundamental economics was correct in both cases but real world effects were different.

Kind of late to this discussion, but in addition to legitimate concerns like child labor and slave labor, there are strategic concerns.

It is undeniably worthwhile to achieve energy independence. This is a strategic necessity, and it eliminates one of the causes of endless war.

It is undeniably worthwhile to maintain the skills and infrastructure for heavy industry — steel, aluminum, and so forth — even if other countries can do it cheaper.

These are strategic necessities. No country the size of the United States should allow itself to become a hostage to another country’s industry. We should not allow the tail to wag the dog.

    Ragspierre in reply to Petrushka. | June 1, 2018 at 9:56 am

    And, in realville, there is no such threat. American industries are quite robust. Remember how much of our steel consumption is domestic?

      “is robust”

      If that were true, Hillary would have kept Pennsylvania and Michigan.

      Why do you think Trump broke through the Blue Wall into the Rust Belt to begin with? Because all those Obama voters caught Sudden Onset Mysogyny?

        Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | June 1, 2018 at 11:00 am

        How much of our steel consumption is domestically produced?

        How many types of American specialty steel are exported?

        The Rust Belt lost a lot of jobs because of unions and awful management. Those are facts.

        The old steel mills in the dark folds of Pennsylvania are not coming back, and for very sound economic reasons.

          willow in reply to Ragspierre. | June 1, 2018 at 11:33 am

          The mention of Pennsylvania steel mills made me think of my dad. He worked for USS as a boilermaker for over 40 years. At some point, there was a lottery system for 13 weeks vacation. He was one of the workers who got it. He probably had years of seniority at the time; I don’t know how the system worked. Giving 13 weeks paid vacation is not good for business. He knew that also, but he was dang happy it was he that got it.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Ragspierre. | June 1, 2018 at 2:23 pm

      America’s TV and radio manufactures were destroyed by Japanese companies using unfair trade practices, dumping, in the same way China is doing today.

Oh, and remember, this tariff stupidity HURTS U.S. defense. Every dollar allocated to defense just got LESS valuable for anything using steel or aluminum as an input.

When commenters explain and provide references without insults, then others can at least understand the position. Being emotionally invested in a position, no matter which side, then leads to pretzel logic if proven wrong. I don’t know if the decision was bad or not. I don’t believe that Trump made the decision based solely on self-interest. It could turn out to be a bad decision. I read a progressive blog and here is what I see in the comments as the undercurrent. Trump is being ignorantly lead by others because he is too stupid to come up with any kind of policy. They believe with about 99 percent certainty that the tariffs are already a failure and will fail completely, except for some kind of benefit for Trump himself. Yet, if tariffs do somehow succeed, well it was never Trump’s idea to begin with, which accounts for the 1 percent uncertainty.

    Shane in reply to willow. | June 1, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    Tariffs are the realm of Unions, they like them.

    Trump is genius in this because the Republicans don’t see the wrong in Tariffs and will support them, and Unions love protectionist industries that benefit from this wealth transfer.

    So Trump gets the support of both sides. It is definitely a win for him.

Here’s a good summary on the pro tarrif side:

“… As a professor in Economics, I spend a few hours explaining why trade is good. So I am a believer in trade. However, that does not mean that every trade is good.

Some people may remember the song “Sixteen Tons.” Although the parameters of the song may be somewhat exaggerated, the basic premise is valid: if a person trades his labor for an arrangement in which he buys food at the company store at a cost higher than the wages earned, it is NOT a good trade. The question is whether the terms of trade can be improved. And to improve the terms of trade, one may need to pay dues to a union and to forego income during a strike.

Likewise, the terms of trade could be disadvantageous to the United States, and to improve the terms of trade, one may need to use the tools at his/her disposal.

To say that Trump does not like trade and likes tariffs is to illustrate ignorance of the situation. Trump wants trade, but he wants better terms in trade, and he has shown great willingness to call off tariffs if terms improve. Past administrations were so desperate for deals that they were not willing to walk away from the table. Their desperation has lead to bad terms for America. If the other side knows you are desperate, you have a weak negotiating position.

For decades, bad terms of trade did not lead to extremely bad outcomes for the U.S. because American industry was such a behemoth in the world. But those decades are gone, and it is not appropriate to continue those outdated deals. So despite incredible shallow thinking and arguments in the media and in the political arena, Trump is out to negotiate better and fairer deals. He is doing this not because he dislikes trade — and, especially, not because he wants the tariffs — but because he wants good trade, and just like unions need to show that they can handle something they do not want (a strike), Trump must show that he is willing to live with tariffs if better terms are not reached.”

http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2018/05/trump-likely-to-impose-new-tariffs-today-is-this-bad-economics-or-madman-theory.html

    willow in reply to Fen. | June 1, 2018 at 10:40 am

    I mentioned in another comment somewhere that I see the same reasoning in the North Korea situation. I was downvoted by at least one person. I tend to agree with the coyoteblog piece, but then, I would like for a favorable outcome. The problematic part I see, and I see it because of a commenter’s explanation somewhere, is that yeah, Trump can pull back, but there could be negative market consequences with the uncertainty of instituting tariffs and then pulling back.

      Fen in reply to willow. | June 1, 2018 at 10:55 am

      Ignore the down vote. We have a petty little coward who down votes anyone who dares disagrees with him.

      I could toast the Virgin Mary and he would vote it down.

      And I agree with you about the dishonest rhetorical fallacies and cheap shots and insults. In my experience, people who feel a need to prop up their arguments with that are insecure about their position so they try indimidation instead of logic. They are easily dismissed.

      I think it’s too early to predict the outcome here. I’m going to remain cautiously optimistic and will wait and see how it plays out.

    Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | June 1, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Except it’s bollocks. From the opening on down.

    The “company store” was the opposite of a market transaction. It was coercive and predatory in every possible way, including that the system usually involved a “company chit” instead of currency.

    Duh Donald has been demagoging this tripe for decades. He HATES trade (for you). He used to slime Japan. He’s just shifted his bullshit to other nations now.

    As noted AND demonstrated here many times, the whole use of “trade deficits” is a false concept.

    IFFFFFFF Duh Donald thinks that he can make a sound argument for tariffs, he’s SUPPOSED to make it to the American people and let Congress implement them. Instead, he’s simply dictated…using a lie as pretext…illegal tariffs.

    I hope there are legal actions being launched to push back.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Ragspierre. | June 1, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      Rags, I know that Trump is smarter and wiser that you. Watch as he extracts better deals. Some years ago I met with the counsel for the USTR, the discussion was about Japan using various stooges to promote their interests, and America accepting bad deals. He commented that negotiating with Japan was like pealing an onion, I blurted out yes, and one is crying the whole time. We all had a good laugh about that. It is fact that America has a long history of trading economic advantage to get other policy concessions. We really cannot afford to continue this practice anymore. Today, China is the economic parasit which Japan used to be.
      Most of our past deals have been bad for us economically. Trump has signaled that he knows this and that he intends to correct past mistakes.

        It didn’t end well with Japan, and it won’t end well with China.

        If we hold as close as we can to free markets it won’t end well with the next usurper, and there WILL be another.

    Shane in reply to Fen. | June 1, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    @Fen Coyote aka Waren is libertarian. Pretty sure (and quick glance confirms) that he is anti-tariff. Not sure why you posted his link.

      Fen in reply to Shane. | June 1, 2018 at 2:20 pm

      I linked because I was quoting one of his commenters responding to his article.

        Shane in reply to Fen. | June 1, 2018 at 4:31 pm

        You should read his stuff, he makes very verbose points on this kind of thing. He is also great source for climate change. He debunks climate BS VERY quickly.

    Shane in reply to Fen. | June 1, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Trump wants trade, but he wants better terms in trade

    No, Trump wants what ever he considers to be in HIS best interest, just like all of us. We should never do what the left does and demigod our president. Every president will put their best interest over the needs of the country, just like every government worker. To say otherwise is foolish.

    That said Trump is trying to pick up the blue collar vote with this non-sense. Even if nothing comes of it he wins, and I hope nothing comes of it.

      Barry in reply to Shane. | June 2, 2018 at 7:35 pm

      “No, Trump wants what ever he considers to be in HIS best interest…”

      You might consider that many people act in the best interests of someone else every single day. It’s quite possible that Trump believes the country faces decline as a nation and is doing what he believes is correct to restore it to a path of prosperity. Very little freedom exists in this world without prosperity. Now, it’s possible to be wrong with the right intentions, but so far results suggest Trump understands what is not in the “books”: human nature does not always comport with your economic studies, governments do not always act in either the best interests of their citizens in general nor in any moral manner.

        Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | June 3, 2018 at 3:19 am

        No, so far Duh Donald’s results are exactly what sound thinkers…not just “the books”…have predicted.

        We now have a tit-for-tat, “everybody’s blind” trade war ginning up, and you’re too entranced to see anything but the icon you worship.

          Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | June 3, 2018 at 2:19 pm

          “No, so far Duh Donald’s results are exactly what sound thinkers…not just “the books”…have predicted.”

          Your predictions, such that they are, have consistently been inaccurate. “Sound thinkers” get it right on occasion at least, leaving you out of that group.

          You consistently predict dire consequences for everything Trump. “Sound thinkers” see your thinking is fundamentally flawed. I can study climatology and meteorology books (and have) and still cannot clearly predict the weather out past a few days or climate at all. This study is actually founded in hard science but so complicated we still understand little of it. The study of economics is riddled with failure as are the predictions of economists. It is not a science and complicated beyond your ability to understand it. The failure of economists to accurately predict the economy is legion.

          The only evidence of value regarding results is the economy, which says “good job”. That is not proof that policy is the reason, just the only metric we have.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 4, 2018 at 11:50 pm

          You hear voices that are not there.

“Duh Donald..”

See how his bias affects his bearing? Why would anyone trust the judgement of someone who can’t control himself?

Shane is the one on the anti side that influences me, not this petty little man.

    Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | June 1, 2018 at 11:04 am

    “Why would anyone trust the judgement of someone who can’t control himself?”

    Hey, you voted for him…

    I’ve tried to avoid personal attacks here. You can’t seem to control yourself.

      fast182 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 1, 2018 at 11:49 am

      HA! Rags, that comment is right up there with “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor”. I know for a fact that you insulted me last evening, and it has since been deleted from this very thread, I assume by the administrator. Since we know that at least some of your insults are censored, and since many of your remaining posts include personal insults, it’s fair to say that you need serious help. Maybe you can find a TDS support group in your area. I hear that they are free if you have Obamacare.

      And definitely don’t look at the LI main page. There be dragons there, for all of you NeverTrumpers

      “The May jobs report came in better than expected! Employers added more jobs, wages went up, and the unemployment rate is 3.8%, which is the lowest it’s been in 18 years.”

Is anybody else noticing that upvoting or downvoting results in two votes sometimes or am I special?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to willow. | June 1, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Well, you may be special, but not because of that. It means someone else up or down voted at the same time you did.

      willow in reply to Henry Hawkins. | June 1, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      Well, I had a bit of insomnia last night so someone else must have also and upvoted several posts at the exact time. haha My dad always told me there is an explanation for everything.

        Fen in reply to willow. | June 1, 2018 at 1:32 pm

        Nah it’s not just you. I had the same thing happen to me last night, and it stopped since this morning. Some kind of bug.

        Ignore Henry, he’s just a sock puppet for The Perennially Indignant. For it to be mere coincidence, the upvotes would need to be in the hundreds to randomly and simultaneously match your clicks.. But there simply weren’t that many people upvoting last night.

        tom_swift in reply to willow. | June 1, 2018 at 1:53 pm

        Need not be two simultaneous votes. If there was a vote since the past time your page updated your browser won’t know it or show it until it’s updated again. Any that accumulated will show in a big lump when you hit the thumb button yourself.

          Fen in reply to tom_swift. | June 1, 2018 at 2:17 pm

          That’s a fair point, but it’s never happened to me here before. And it’s not today. Shrug.

          lgbmiel in reply to tom_swift. | June 1, 2018 at 6:00 pm

          That’s exactly what it is, Mr. tom_swift. I usually have a few tabs open while reading LI and go back and forth between them. I can sometimes be reading the same article for quite awhile. Sometimes when I vote the tally will increase by 1 or 2 — one time it increased by 4. I was puzzled, but realized it was because others had voted, too, while I had been reading and doing other things.

          Fen in reply to tom_swift. | June 1, 2018 at 6:49 pm

          Another wrinkle – it was ALWAYS a 2 pt click, never 3 or 4. If it was a refresh issue, I grant that most would be a +2 click depending on how long before the page refreshed, but there should also have been the occasional +3. There never was.

          I’m not saying it was Aliens. But…Aliens.

    Barry in reply to willow. | June 1, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    It’s precisely because someone else, sometimes multiples, have up/down voted since you refreshed the page. When you hit the vote it simply gives you a new tally of all the votes.

    No conspiracy.

So, do I understand that all of you folks criticizing PDT are aware that our ‘free trade’ with the EU is a joke. They don’t have tariffs, they have special fees that jack up the price of our goods to make their own more palatable. It doesn’t work when one side cheats and the other side lies down and takes it.

    MNCPO in reply to TimothyJ. | June 1, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    The fees on a dozen eggs exported to Canada from the U.S. is 296%. (CTH 6/01/18). Kind of like those fees? Trump was right, we lost the trade war 30 years ago. It’s time to just try and level the field.

    Shane in reply to TimothyJ. | June 1, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    So where does the money come from for them to push up the prices beyond market?

Rags: “I’ve tried to avoid personal attacks here”

Heh. So you’re saying the 20 or so “you’re stupid” remarks in this very thread was your attempt at restraint?

At least you’re not boring.

    tom_swift in reply to Fen. | June 1, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    At least you’re not boring.

    Huh?

    The same thing over and over and overad tædium … is about as boring as things can get, unless there’s music with it.

      Fen in reply to tom_swift. | June 1, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      True. But I’m entertained by his audacity, claiming he didn’t raid the fridge while he wipes BBQ sauce off hid mouth.

    Barry in reply to Fen. | June 2, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    Rags: “I’ve tried to avoid personal attacks here”

    Right up there with him apologizing more than anyone else commenting at LI.

      Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | June 3, 2018 at 8:34 am

      IF you retain ANY reading ability (or integrity), you’ll not up-thread that I did not respond in kind to various trolling, including some of yours.

        Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | June 3, 2018 at 2:25 pm

        I’d suggest not mentioning integrity as it is not your strong suit.

        As a note, I responded to a comment by Fen, about you, noting another truth, that you claim to apologize more than any other commenter on LI. That is as truthful as the one you make claiming you avoid personal attacks.

        Both are false.

Hahahahahaha on the news tonight was some big brain academic who was pointing out the big problem for the EU was all that cheap Chinese steel and aluminium being dumped on them and the impact that will have on our local business producing steel and aluminium!

Why it’s almost as if Trump has out thought the EU once again. The EU doesn’t come to the negotiating table, Trump imposes tariffs, everyone talks about retaliation then fuck me if REAL LIFE (TM) doesn’t turn around and skull fuck you because suddenly all that cheap chingaling hardware has to go somewhere and why wouldn’t you dump it somewhere where you aren’t hit with increased tariffs?!?

You can’t make this shit up!! Hahahahah

I hate it when right-wing websites parrot progressive lies.

Trump is NOT imposing tariffs. He’s simply removing exemptions that apply to Canada, Mexico and the EU.

Every country on the planet that wants to sell steel in the US has to pay a tariff, except those were receiving an exemption. Every one of them.

So what did every country in the world do to avoid paying tariffs in the US? They sold their steel to Mexico and Canada, which then sold the steel to the US.

Without the huge demand for steel in the US, most countries wouldn’t be able to sell their steel. Why should middlemen in Mexico, Canada and the EU get a huge cut of our transactions? Now they have to sell their steel directly to us or get lost. Their choice.

Trump is simply leveling the field for everybody. You’d think Leftists would love the “everybody is equal” concept.

    Ragspierre in reply to cucho. | June 2, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    This level of denial is insane. Literally.

    There’s no truth to it. Duh Donald has ALWAYS used the term “tariffs”. He thinks they’re wonderful. “Easy win”.

    Well, not only no, but HELL no.

    Watch and see…

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