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Trump Will Approve Tariffs Worth $50 Billion on Chinese Tech Products

Trump Will Approve Tariffs Worth $50 Billion on Chinese Tech Products

“Trade between our nations, however, has been very unfair, for a very long time. This situation is no longer sustainable.”

President Donald Trump will approve a plan that will impose a 25% tariff on Chinese technology products, which is worth around $50 billion. From The Washington Post:

Although the import levies affect less than 10 percent of the $505 billion in Chinese goods that Americans buy each year, Trump’s new trade barriers mark a historic change after three decades of deepening ties between the world’s two largest economies.

The administration initially said that up to 1,300 products could be hit with the tariffs, which American importers pay and pass on to their customers.

The move comes after Trump met with his “top economic officials.” The sectors hit by the tariffs include “aerospace, information and communications technology, robotics, industrial machinery, new materials, and automobiles,” but not common purchases by consumers like phones and TVs.

From The Washington Examiner:

“My great friendship with President Xi [Jinping] of China and our country’s relationship with China are both very important to me. Trade between our nations, however, has been very unfair, for a very long time. This situation is no longer sustainable,” President Trump said Friday.

“China has, for example, long been engaging in several unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology,” he said. “These practices … harm our economic and national security and deepen our already massive trade imbalance with China.”

But before we freak out too much, we must remember that the tariffs won’t go into effect right away and Trump can still change his mind. From Politico:

The authorizing statute for the tariffs, Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, allows USTR to take up to 30 days to put the duties in place after a formal determination is published in the Federal Register. But there is a possibility that Trump could then delay the duties even further — for up to another 180 days, well past the midterm elections and into January 2019 — if USTR determines the larger talks with China are making substantial progress or that a delay would help bring about a satisfactory solution.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said that China will respond and do whatever it needs to do in order “top defend our legitimate rights and interests.” China already has “a list of $50 billion in U.S. products that would face retaliatory tariffs, including beef and soybeans, a shot at Trump’s supporters in rural America.”

Will Tariffs Work?

Trump recently caused an uproar when he placed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. He’s saying this is all in need of “fair trade” and national security, but are tariffs really needed? After all, once upon a time, the right used to hate tariffs because the companies pass off the high prices to consumers.

David Harsanyi wrote an incredible article at Reason this morning that explains why these moves are awful. He dissected Trump’s top trade advisor Peter Navrarro’s piece at The New York Times and this part caught my eye:

When Navarro writes that G-7 nations’ trade practices “contribute to America’s more than $500 billion annual global trade deficit in goods and services,” he means American citizens purchased goods they prefer from other countries. Sometimes these products are completely foreign-made, and sometimes they’re partially foreign-made, but Americans always get something in return. As economist Milton Friedman argued long ago, the real gain from international trade is not what we export but what we import.

More importantly, one reason the United States is running a trade deficit is that we are wealthy and larger and can spend more on foreign-made goods and services than others can spend on U.S.-made goods and services. For example, China, which many Americans wrongly believe is an economically comparable power, boasts of a $6,894 gross domestic product per capita, compared with our $52,194.

Navarro correctly claims that cars made in Germany and elsewhere in the European Union are subject to a 2.5 percent tariff, while the EU tariff on American cars is four times as high. “No wonder,” says Navarro, “Germany sells us three cars for every one we export to Germany.”

Well, once we consider that Germany has a population of about 83 million and ours is more than three times that number, it makes a lot more sense. But protectionists need to exaggerate the unfairness to allow us to play victims. In any event, if our trading partners are behaving as poorly as Trump claims (and that’s arguable), what would American consumers gain from paying more? Would the Germans buy more Fords?

For example, U.S. builders claim that the latest tariffs from Trump are adding money to new home prices. Robert Dietz, the chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders, mentioned the high costs of materials bringing down the industry like the “spike in lumber prices,” which has gone up 62% since January 2017. Dietz said builders receive “a third of the lumber we use in the U.S. from Canada.” This has bumped home prices up by $9,000.

[Featured image via Wikimedia Commons]


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I’d rather retaliate to IP theft by other means than tariffs. On the other side of the globe? The Krauts need to be slapped down hard regarding NATO commitments. Or we move our toys to lock, stock and barrel to Poland while giving the Swedes and Finns the finger (they want special exemptions as membership bait.) Let them eat Borscht.

Deutsche bank is struggling. Merkel’s coalition is kaput.

    Barry in reply to Tiki. | June 16, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    “I’d rather retaliate to IP theft by other means than tariffs.”

    Give us some examples of the “other means”.

I could give a rats…. if tariffs make home prices go up. I can’t afford a new home because I am spending post tax 30 K on health insurance annually. I’m made so the globalist that I once supported screwed me.

    MarkSmith in reply to MarkSmith. | June 15, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    I’m so “mad” at the globalist that I once supported and they have screwed me with Obamacare. Darn auto correct.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | June 15, 2018 at 4:23 pm

Good start.

Now to do something similar to the Deep State.

Tariffs compensate for the implicit tariffs established through environmental, regulatory, labor, and monetary arbitrage.


The job-killing, market-distorting, dictatorial T-rumpian and totally counter-productive tariffs have begun an international trade war.

This is who he is. A Progressive BIG GOVERNMENT authoritarian, who knows shit about economics.

    Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 15, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    I made several very clear, assertive observations above.

    Anyone who down-votes me should state where and why they did.

      You wrote: “Anyone who down-votes me should state where and why they did.”

      I’m becoming very confused about just who you think you are. People have every right to up or down vote any comment for any–or no–reason; no one here answers to you. Literally, no one.

      I’ll call you “Ragspierre” all day long (and giggle at your smallness all the while), but you have no right to demand justification from our readers for your up and down votes. It’s actually quite bizarre that this would even occur to you. Do you really care that much about them? If so, that’s kind of pitiable.

        healthguyfsu in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | June 15, 2018 at 10:41 pm

        These responses are getting worse by the day. She’s right…no one owes you anything, and you should work on that power of persuasion. I didn’t down vote you before, but I’ll damn sure do it now just to piss you off.

        Ragspierre in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | June 16, 2018 at 7:12 am

        So we agree. Nobody owes me anything. They DO owe to themselves and the rest here some candor. Or is that where we disagree?

        Halcyon Daze in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | June 16, 2018 at 2:37 pm

        You and Yellow are sock puppets owned by the same person. We just cannot yet determine who the troll is. Oh, and I love your emotional outbursts in these comments. Sweet.

      Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | June 15, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      “Anyone who down-votes me should state where and why they did.”

      Where: both comments.
      Why: because not a single comment line observation was worth spit.

      Why2: No one likes a hater. No one believes you.

      MarkSmith in reply to Ragspierre. | June 15, 2018 at 10:40 pm

      Nobody down voted you. You must be delusional.

    VaGentleman in reply to Ragspierre. | June 15, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    rags rote:
    Anyone who down-votes me should state where and why they did.

    You are a pompous, arrogant, supercilious pos who shows no respect for LI members who won’t join your #NT crusade. You are not interested in discussion, but post to show the rest of us how stupid you think we are and how brilliant you think you are. You pride yourself in being LI’s self appointed disruptor, as though we need you to show us the way. Your attitude makes the content of your posts irrelevant. Down voting you is easier than constantly clicking reply, typing “Asshole!” and hitting SEND.

      Anonamom in reply to VaGentleman. | June 15, 2018 at 9:03 pm

      “Down voting you is easier than constantly clicking reply, typing “A**hole!” and hitting SEND.”

      Spot. On.

      Barry in reply to VaGentleman. | June 15, 2018 at 11:07 pm

      You asked. You got your answer.

      Try the complaint dept over at the DNC headquarters. You should be familiar with the place.

      VaGentleman in reply to VaGentleman. | June 16, 2018 at 5:33 am

      It’s not the term you object to; you have used far worse on LI. It’s the accurate description of your narcissistic, immature personality and behavior that offends you.

    Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 15, 2018 at 10:06 pm


    Figured. You don’t have shit-all to rationally oppose me!


    Halcyon Daze in reply to Ragspierre. | June 16, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    As of now you have 2 upvotes, Rages. Doesn’t that warm the cockles of your heart. I’m almost certain that your fellow sock puppet Yellow is one. Cheers.

    Click reply and insert emotional outburst below.

OK. I’m going to come out and ask it. This is completely against my better judgment, but I have no reason to avoid the subject.

Why is it desirable, from the point of view of the United States, that smaller, lower population countries like Germany and Canada, or even larger, higher population countries like China, have high tariffs on American products? Clearly, there is massive horror of the US raises tariffs. Clearly, there is minimal to zero concern that these countries have tariffs themselves. What’s the advantage to the United States compelling the latter view?

I’m asking out of curiosity. So many people fight so, so hard to leave these nations’ tariffs alone, I’m wondering what benefit they see.

    Grr, “if” The US raises tariffs, alternatively, “of the US raising”. I split the middle. And it was a serious question too.

    Ragspierre in reply to JBourque. | June 15, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    One, why do you care that ANY nation taxes its people via tariffs?

    Two, nobody CONSERVATIVE…anywhere at any time…suggests it’s OK to impose tariffs on anything.

    Three, do you advocate the imposition of taxes on Americans via tariffs?

      I’m not interested in questioning Congress’ constitutional power to raise revenue via Article I taxation. I just want that out of the way.

      What’s wrong with brinkmanship? I am too young to have had relevant views at the time, but when Reagan negotiated with Gorbachev, he didn’t renounce the possession of nuclear weapons before going in. He kept his and negotiated from there. Conservatives never supported unilateral disarmament. Yet in trade, negotiation tactics supposedly for the objective of lowering other nations’ tariffs are shunned so vociferously, isn’t that tantamount to, “Leave, their tariffs, alone!!” ?

      I’m asking why. Why is it so important to keep other countries’ tariffs up and not lift a finger to lower them? Clearly, the German auto tariff on American vehicles quoted in the article above is considered innocent and harmless, something American bullies should not deign to overturn. Why? What am I missing?

        Barry in reply to JBourque. | June 15, 2018 at 7:56 pm

        “What’s wrong with brinkmanship?”

        Nothing. You’ll notice that those in favor of free trade and always calling Trump names never call out the other side for their tariffs. They seem to prefer sucker trade, where we have no tariffs while our trade partners have high tariffs.

        “I’m asking why. Why is it so important to keep other countries’ tariffs up and not lift a finger to lower them?”

        “Why? What am I missing?”

        There are, IMO, two types.
        One is the free trader that thinks free trade as a one way street is just fine. I disagree with them completely. One must fight fire with fire.

        The second type doesn’t give a flip about the USA or it’s citizens. They benefit from the elites managed trade policy. They get their money and they get more from offshoring.

        It is important to remember, we do not now have free trade, we have never in our history had free trade. We have trade deals. Consider, the current FBI and DOJ. Are they working for the average American? No, neither are the trade deal writers.

        Who writes these trade deals? The big multi national corporations. Their bought and paid for whores in the legislature introduce them and vote them in place.

          I am noticing a palpable silence from someone who seems to think no one has the crude body parts to take him on directly, yes.

          I’ll continue my skepticism about all tariffs and the general desirability of lowering them, even by rough measures. If I thought this was a case of slapping tariffs on and irresponsibly walking away, I’d be as loudly against it as others.

    The idea is one Trump campaigned on: our trade deals are great for everyone except the U. S. When we have a trade system in which we pay every going tariff in every country and ours are scaled for redistributive purpose, we lose. What concerns people opposed to tariffs that put America first is two-fold: on the one hand, they note (accurately in the short-term) that imposing tariffs on imports will cause prices to skyrocket (this is true, it will . . . in the short term). The second objection to more equitable trade deals between the U. S. and other countries (including close allies) is that we have some sort of duty to lift up other nations (redistribute our despised capitalist wealth).

    Trump is doing exactly what he said he’d do, and he’s going to prevail for at least three reasons: one, the U. S. has oil and natural gas access and reserves (these were depleted under Obama, of course), and any trade war resolution will result in America becoming more energy-independent (the world cannot afford that and will pull out all stops to avoid that scenario); two, Trump is not as worried as his predecessors of short-term economic pain in favor of a long-term gain. Sure, prices may go up on many things we currently get from overseas, but it won’t be long before American enterprise and entrepreneurship fills that void; and three, Americans will pay a bit more (the studies vary, but generally hover around 10% more) for American-made products.

    On top of this, Trump has the ability to explain to Americans what he’s doing and why. Once some deal is ironed out, he’ll announce it to the American people and explain that we’ll see short-term price increases (that will be cushioned by Trump’s tax breaks and his robust economy).

    A far more worrying consideration is that we are running every second of our government and nation on borrowed or “created” monies. That way leads to utter and complete disaster.

    Anyway, I’m not sure I’ve fully addressed your question, but the bottom line is not that America doesn’t pay a bit more . . . only that we don’t bankrupt ourselves (while becoming more and more dependent on other nations) in the process. Trump isn’t saying, let’s have tit for tat, we all pay the same; he’s saying, instead, let’s whittle down this trade deficit to improve conditions for America because we are tired of being bedded before we’ve even been kissed.

      If it doesn’t answer my question per se, it’s only because your view is too reasonable and fair. I would never view that as a bad thing.

      I sincerely hope Trump can work it out with other leaders with a minimum of fuss. I do not intend to paint Trump as blameless, but I don’t see the other leaders as innocent lambs, either. When they take the need for a deal seriously and actually deal with Trump as an equal, this can be settled. Until then, there will likely be more… pretentious lamb sounds, I suppose.

      Ragspierre in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | June 15, 2018 at 10:09 pm

      You’ve become a BIG GOVERNMENT “excuse anything” Progressive. What a shame.

    Mac45 in reply to JBourque. | June 15, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    This is complicated, but let me give it a shot.

    The wealth producing economy of the United States is composed of two distinct facets. One is the manufacturing sector and those industries which support it [Main Street]. The other is the financial sector [Wall Street]. Main Street produces goods and personal service which are purchased by individual consumers, both in the US and abroad. Money from these purchases enrich manufacturing owners, shareholders, employees of these companies, transportation companies, materiel suppliers, support industries, etc. Wall Street is in the business of loaning and investing money, largely to Main Street. The problem is that most of Main Street, in the US, no longer needs loans and investment from Wall Street because they are long established businesses and, largely due to the efforts of Wall Street, are being pushed out of the consumer market overseas by the growth of manufacturing in foreign countries. They do not need to grow. Main Street needs to be able to produce a profit from sales to the consumer market, which they can not do, if the consumer market, represented by their employees, is being overrun with cheaper goods from foreign competitors. So, Main Street wants to level the playing field with regard to consumer markets. This is very important so remember it. The USA consumer market comprises 27% of the ENTIRE world consumer market, for goods. This is because our consumers, mostly Main Street workers, have had such a high standard of living. US manufacturing can not compete with foreign manufacturers who have far lower labor costs and other overhead. Wall Street, who is heavily invested in foreign manufacturing, wants foreign businesses, in which they have an investment, to succeed. To do that, these foreign businesses have to have a nearly unfettered access to the US market. And, Wall Street largely controls the US Government.

    So, to protect industries outside the US, which are being financed by US financial interests, protective tariffs on goods imported to the US are exceptionally low. While tariffs on imports into other countries are much, sometimes several times, larger. It is all designed to keep short term funds flowing into global financial businesses, including Wall Street, at the expense of Main Street USA. In the long term, this operation will destroy US Main Street and the loss of dominance of any one geopolitical unit [nation] will further empower the global financial establishment. The financial elite, which gains wealth and power through moving money around wins whether US citizens are living on a public subsistence dole or in a mansion.

      So in five words or less, because it benefits international corporations.

      I’ll keep your view in mind as I continue examining the evidence.

        Mac45 in reply to JBourque. | June 16, 2018 at 12:47 pm

        In terms of benefits to US entities, it benefits the US financial sector which finances foreign development. The rest of the US economy is only the world’s piggy bank.

      Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | June 16, 2018 at 7:31 am

      Another of your nutter manifestos.

      I’ll ask a question I’ve posed elsewhere; assume that there are no tariffs, barriers, or subsidies anywhere in the world.

      Would the U.S. STILL run a “trade deficit” if measured in the bogus terms of “dollars” spent?

      Would dictatorial idiots still militate against individual Americans being free to trade with who they wish on terms they find acceptable?

      See, it’s all just a set of lies, told by people who want to control you. #badchoicedaddyfix

        Mac45 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 16, 2018 at 12:44 pm

        In answer to your question, if a totally free market existed, then the US would go down like a RINO ]pun intended] on a wet clay bank. Why? You should know the answer here. Because the US manufacturing sector can not compete against the far lower overhead of foreign competitors in most of the rest of the world.

        I do not understand why you have so much trouble understanding how a capitalist economy works. But, I’ll explain, in the simplest terms possible.

        An economy needs at least two things to work. It needs a consumer and it needs a producer. The consumer buys the producer’s product. This results in a transfer of wealth from the consumer to the producer. As the consumer has only a finite amount of “money”, he is looking to spend as little as possible for the product. If another producer sells the same product at a lower price, then the consumer is more likely to by the cheaper product. With me so far? Good.

        Now, the producer needs to make a profit. That is the whole point of capitalism. To do this, the sale price of his product has to equal the cost of producing that product plus a certain percentage of that cost as profit. The cost of the product is based upon the raw materials necessary to make it; facility cost [rent or mortgage payments], energy costs, labor, debt mitigation, regulatory costs, etc. Now, a producer in a rich nation, such as the US, has much higher operating costs than does a producer in a poor nation. So, the producer in the poorer nation can sell its product as a much lower cost than a producer in a rich nation and still make a sizable profit. And, because of the far lower purchasing power of consumers n the poorer country, those consumers are far more likely toby the domestically produced item which can be sold much more cheaply. This leaves the producer in the richer nation with only one option, if he wants to survive. Move to a place with lower operating costs. So, what happens? Production in the richer country declines or leaves altogether. It is all about the profit, after all. The next question is, what does this do to the consumer in the richer country?

        As many of the consumers, in the richer country, depend upon the producer for their livelihood, they have no income, if the producer leaves. How do they continue to consume products? Well, they don’t. They spend whatever money they make now on necessities. And, those necessities are usually priced much higher than they are in a poorer nation. As the economy declines in the richer country, the individual wealth of its consumers declines and eventually it is reduced to just another 2nd world country.

        I have repeatedly explained that true free trade only works between nations which are essentially equal in terms of consumer wealth.

        So, that is extremely basic economics 101. I hope that it helps.

          Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | June 16, 2018 at 2:38 pm

          You are not just an idiot, but a really dangerous idiot who understands NOTHING about market economics.

          So, the answer to my question is that regardless of the lies of T-rump WRT tariffs, you’re all for prohibiting Americans from free association.

          What I’ve wondered about is why you post to a conservative legal blog when you are a declared anti-conservative? It’s interesting that nobody treats you as a troll when you are a self-declared enemy of conservatives, and also manifestly a complete nutter.

          I still want to know WHERE in the living FLUCK you’ve derived the stupid shit you post about economics. It’s simple madness, and I’d really like to know its origin.

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | June 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm

          Wow. This is simply bizarre.

          Who is prohibiting Americans from free associations? You are free to buy anything that you want. Now, as those selling the product want to make a PROFIT, you might not be able to buy that product at the price you want. But, that is a capitalist economy.

          Now, as to my understanding of economics, I just gave you a perfect, though simplified, outline of how every single capitalist endeavor in the world works. Businesses exist to make a PROFIT. In order to do that they have to sell products or services a price which will cover their operating expenses with some money left over; i.e. PROFIT. Every single businesses in the world operates under the same principles. Now, if my post was in any way mistaken, feel free to actually point out where I am in error. Otherwise all your post is is hot air.

          I get the feeling that either you are ignorant of basic economics, yourself, or are more concerned with the profits of Wall Street, than with the profits of Main Street America. But, either way, unless you are willing to actually point out where I am mistaken and can explain your position, you are simply worthless. Not dangerous, worthless.

          Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | June 16, 2018 at 6:37 pm

          “In answer to your question, if a totally free market existed, then the US would go down like a RINO ]pun intended] on a wet clay bank. Why? You should know the answer here. Because the US manufacturing sector can not compete against the far lower overhead of foreign competitors in most of the rest of the world.”

          OK, let’s start here; the U.S. is manufacturing at an all-time record high. We make what we make BEST, and most efficiently. NOBODY beats us, because we produce products at LEAST COST, regardless of the relative cost of wages.

          You are an idiot.

          Barry in reply to Mac45. | June 16, 2018 at 7:54 pm

          “OK, let’s start here; the U.S. is manufacturing at an all-time record high.”

          And the producers, the middle class workers, continue to spiral downwards towards the 3rd world level. Work force participation is the worst it’s ever been.

          Were it not for the unfair trade deals people like you support and push, while mouthing “free trade”, manufacturing would be at an even higher level and the middle class would not be in danger of extinction.

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | June 16, 2018 at 8:26 pm

          “OK, let’s start here; the U.S. is manufacturing at an all-time record high. We make what we make BEST, and most efficiently. NOBODY beats us, because we produce products at LEAST COST, regardless of the relative cost of wages.”

          Really? If you really believed that, we would not be having this discussion. You would not be clamoring to buy cheaper foreign imports. But, that is exactly what you are demanding.

          American manufacturers can not compete with foreign manufacturers because US manufacturers face such a large overhead. Now, I will avoid speaking of most of the trading partners of the US, because every one of them imposes tariffs on most American made goods. And, these tariffs are far higher than the US imposes on their products. But, let’s take a look at the current free trade pact that the US is involved in, NAFTA. Under NAFTA, we have seen a number of US manufacturing plants move to Mexico. Why is that? I mean if US manufacturers can make the LEAST expensive goods inside the US, why move to Mexico? Why move your production facilities from a stable nation for one which is unstable? Do you think that the reduce overhead expenses there may a something to do with it? And, where are the majority of those goods sold? That’s right, in the US, not in Mexico. Canada is another story. The wealth of Canada’s individual consumer is fairly equal to that of the US. So, there is no real incentive for US manufacturing to move to Canada. The US is not really too concerned that Canada imposes huge tariffs on US dairy products. What the steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico were really all about is the amount of these items which are actually manufactured outside these countries, much in China, and funneled into the use through Canadian companies. This is now a big business in Canada and Mexico.

          Now, about the American worker. For the last 13 years, we have seen the US workforce dwindle to the lowest level, both in number and in percent, in the last 50 years. We have 93 million [37%] workforce eligible people out of the workforce. We have almost 36% of the American people on welfare [this means that they do not earn enough money to live on] and almost 50% pay no income tax. We have seen wages remain stagnant for most of the workforce. And, on top of that, we have seen expenses shoot up. Now, if US manufacturers are really competitive, with the rest of the world, then none of this should be happening. World markets should be clamoring to buy US manufactured goods. This includes the 27% of the world consumer market represented by the US consumer, that’s you, buddy.

          Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | June 16, 2018 at 8:34 pm

          You can’t support ANY of that crazy bullshit with evidence.

          It’s all just bonzo claims with you. And it’s all BIG GOVERNMENT is swell.

          I go back to my early questions; why do you post here when you are an anti-conservative, and where did you get this bullshit?

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | June 17, 2018 at 12:31 pm

          Look, Chuckles, I’m not going to waste my time attempting to educate you. I do notice, however, that you appear to be long on stating, without explanation, that people are wrong and calling people names; but short on actually explaining how these people are wrong.

          Trade agreements usually relax TARIFFS and other trade restraints between nations. This is supposed to increase trade between these two nations. However, what NAFTA led to, in the case of Mexico, was the movement of US manufacturing and fabrication facilities from the US, with its higher overhead costs, to Mexico, which has much lower overhead costs for businesses. US based companies eliminated employees, and employees of supporting businesses, in the US by leaving for Mexico. Then, using the provisions of NAFTA, they shipped their products back to the US for sale to the people whose jobs they eliminated. This is not even being debated by free traders, as it is proven fact.

          As for my being a conservative and toeing some imaginary philosophical line in order to “belong” to the herd, I don’t think so. I approach every issue separately. While I find the liberal ideal of nearly unlimited government very attractive, I am enough of a realist to understand that it would simply not work in today’s society. As much as I hold to the opinion that the 2nd Amendment, as written, prohibits the federal government from regulating, in any manner, the ownership and possession of firearms, and other weapons, and that the 14th Amendment applies this to the states, I also realize that this country will not embrace that.

          You, on the other hand, seem to be wholly committed to the United States having a horribly negative balance of foreign trade. As a conservative, one would think that you would support the interests of the bulk of the citizens of your country. This does not seem to be the case however. You seem to be advocating for more people to be unemployed, or under employed, so that you can continue to buy cheap imported goods. Why is that? What is the logic behind throwing your neighbor to the lions to keep you safe? How many of your fello “conservatives” are you willing to sacrifice for your benefit? Perhaps others on this “conservative website” would be interested in that.

          Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | June 17, 2018 at 1:34 pm

          Well, your admissions are useful.

          You are a BIG GOVERNMENT Progressive who thinks it’s sound economics to mandate who I trade with.

          You’ve stated that, given a totally free market system with no tariffs, barriers, or subsidies, you’d still force people to trade on your terms, not theirs.

          You keep throwing around the bullshit of “trade imbalance”, which you’ve been schooled on over and over to no avail. I’ve demonstrated, for instance, that the U.S. can NEVER have a positive balance of trade with Norway. Not unless you and your Progressive ilk prohibit Americans from making their own choices.

          I oppose tariffs because they are anti-freedom and simply stupid, counter-productive exercises in crony-crapitalism. They are redistrubutive taxes on Americans generally for the benefit of a very few interests, who are inevitably hurt in the distortion of their markets.

          You lie constantly about everything involved in this debate, just like your cult leader. One of the BIG reasons for American interests to produce in Mexico is that they have very low tariffs on exports. THAT has served them well. NAFTA did not do that.

          I’d like nothing better than for every American to have a job that pays them a MARKET wage. You admit you’d like for wages to be distorted by your idea of what good government should do.

          I am a conservative. You are the enemy of conservatives.

          I’m still waiting for your exposition of where you’ve gotten the complete bullshit you espouse.

    Ragspierre in reply to JBourque. | June 16, 2018 at 7:23 am

    Duh Donald’s ariffs are just crony crapitalism. They are a tax on Americans, not on anyone else. They are the very definition of BIG GOVERNMENT central planning. They are anti-liberty and anti-market economics.

    See now?

      Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | June 16, 2018 at 7:59 pm

      “BIG GOVERNMENT” “crony crapitalism” is responsible for every trade deal we have until now. And wither you like it or not, American citizens international commerce is governed by those trade deals.

      If you were really for free trade, then you would support trading with partners that trade freely along with us. You don’t, so you are not in favor of free trade, you’re in favor of sucker trade.


        Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | June 16, 2018 at 9:04 pm

        Of course, everything you say is a damned lie.

        I do support free and open trade. You can’t point to anything I’ve ever said that indicates otherwise.

        Trade agreements are designed by their nature to facilitate trade. They are not what you lie about.

        You cannot support any of you bullshit with a single piece of evidence. Refer to ANY provision of NAFTA that does what you lie about.

          Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | June 17, 2018 at 1:24 pm

          “Trade agreements are designed by their nature to facilitate trade. They are not what you lie about.”

          More of your BS.

          Every trade agreement is written by elites in corporate boardrooms, large donations are made to representatives, the “trade deal” is then handed over to the reps who then pass it. It is never written for the benefit of the country at large, always written to benefit the writers.

          I suspect you know this. You’re simply dishonest.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 17, 2018 at 1:38 pm

          As always, you simply lie. If your Great Goad Cheeto is not an “elitist” who-the-fluck would be?

          Just leave people alone, let them chose what they will, and stew in your own hatred.

That Harsanyi article is the silliest thing I’ve heard of today. Just ridiculous sophistry. Per-capita GDP has about as much to do with international trade as the popular vote has to do with Hillary being elected non-President. Maybe even less.

VaGentleman | June 18, 2018 at 8:03 am

It seems to me that much of the argument we see is in the form of the old arguments between theorists and pragmatists.

A basic question would be: what defines free trade? Does anyone have an example, past or present, of true international free trade? It’s not just tariffs: what other factors must be present / absent to have free trade? The tariff free zone established by the constitution among the 50 states is one of the largest, if not the largest, ‘free trade’ zones in the world, but even it is not free trade. The states offer tax breaks and other incentives that skew market signals. So it’s worth asking, is it actually possible to have a true free trade zone? Can such a thing actually exist, and what level of gov’t intervention is needed to achieve and maintain it?

    Ragspierre in reply to VaGentleman. | June 18, 2018 at 9:06 am

    This is ONE of the oldest memes employed in this argument.

    “There is no ‘free trade'”.

    Of course, it’s fundamentally dishonest, and a version of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy.

      VaGentleman in reply to Ragspierre. | June 18, 2018 at 11:46 am

      Despite your false characterization of my post, I did not commit the No true Scotsman (NTS)fallacy.
      As with most of your posts, you have it wrong.

      From WIKI:

      The No true Scotsman or appeal to purity is an informal fallacy in which one attempts to protect a universal generalization from counterexamples by changing the definition in an ad hoc fashion to exclude the counterexample.
      The following is a simplified rendition of the fallacy:

      Person A: “No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.”
      Person B: “But my uncle Angus is a Scotsman and he puts sugar on his porridge.”
      Person A: “Ah yes, but no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.”

      It’s interesting that you use this fallacy frequently in your posts.

      Rags: No free trader would support tariffs.
      LI poster: Many conservatives are supporting tariffs if they level the playing field.
      Rags: Yes, but no true free trader supports tariffs.


      Rags: No true conservative would vote for Trump.
      LI poster: Conservatives voted for Trump as a better alternative than Clinton.
      Rags: Yes, but no true conservative would vote for Trump.

      It’s worth emphasizing that your posts fit the fallacy like a glove. The appeal to purity (aka No True Scotsman) fallacy is the raison d’etre of your ‘logic’ in condemning Trump and his supporters.

      My post did not, in any way, meet the definition of the NTS fallacy. I simply asked for an example / definition of what was meant by free trade, and if it was actually achievable. Try thinking instead of lying and projecting.