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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Tariff editorials amuse me

President Trump wisely used his power to impose tariffs to get the European Union to drop its high tariffs on products made in the USA.

Bu-bu-bu-but newspaper editorials assured us he was dangerous and tariffs would lead to trade wars and an economic apocalypse.

"President Trump has styled himself as something of a knight in shining armor on trade issues, riding in to rescue American workers and companies besieged by foreign competitors, unprotected by U.S. trade deals and abandoned by previous administrations," the Los Angeles Times editorial board said on July 5.

"Trump’s recent maneuvering to impose tariffs on imported cars and auto parts, however, belies that narrative. U.S. auto companies and workers look more like bystanders conscripted to fight a bloody war they don’t support — and that could leave them worse off than they are today."

For the record, European tariffs are 25% on cars built in the USA.

The editorial ended, "responding swiftly to the steel and aluminum levies Trump imposed last month, Canada, the European Union and China have not simply conceded to U.S. demands — instead, they’ve all retaliated with tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of U.S. exports. The rest of the world may like selling to U.S. consumers, but they don’t need us as badly as they did in previous decades; the U.S. share of the global economy is about half what it was in 1960. To expect car tariffs to produce a different result is to ignore what’s happening right before our eyes."

But on Wednesday, the European Union indeed conceded to U.S. demands.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal said in an editorial on June 7, "Tariffs may be a useful tool to use against America’s enemies — think North Korea and Iran. Targeted tariffs may even be effective in stopping China’s theft of intellectual property from U.S. businesses. But addressing China’s unfair trading practices requires a unified front from the United States and its allies, not the distractions and disunity that come along with a trade war."

Actually, we do not use tariffs against North Korea or Iran. We don't do business with them. Tariffs are a tax on imported goods. You don't use them with enemies because you don't trade with an enemy.


USA Today's editorial board actually worked to undermine his strategy in a June 10 editorial.

"President Trump left this weekend's Group of Seven economic powers summit in Quebec in a petulant snit, tweeting en route to Singapore like a scorned adolescent while doing his best to harm relations with nations that have been America's trusted friends for decades, if not centuries," the newspaper said.

Trusted friends?

Europeans bought $283 billion worth of goods from the USA last year.

We bought $434 billion from them.

With friends like them, who needs enemies? In fact, our trade deficit with Europe is $151 billion higher than our trade deficit with Iran and North Korea because, again, you don't trade with an enemy.

This morning, the local newspaper ran an editorial, "Tariffs that work wouldn't require a $12B farm bailout."

And it won't require a bailout because the Europeans just agreed to buy our soybeans. Yesterday afternoon.

But they ran the editorial anyway because they had no backup plan.

President Trump does. He was prepared to use a law that has been on the books for 80 years, if he had to protect the farmers in a trade war with Europe.

There won't be one. Europe needs the USA more than the USA needs Europe. Newspaper publishers should know that.

President Trump has been negotiating with international banks and the like for 30 years. Before writing another editorial denouncing his business acumen, editorial writers might want to look at their bank balances.


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  1. Especially amusing are the NeverTrump republican RHINOs, and their allies in the media.

    I have been greatly disappointed by one of my favorite radio hosts, Mark Levine (old Yeller), who eventually came around to supporting Trump in the election, but continually harps on Trump's "misguided" tariff threats.

    These guys wouldn't recognize a negotiating tool if you hit them between the eyes with one.


    1. Honestly, I truly don't understand how they don't get it.

  2. "the U.S. share of the global economy is about half what it was in 1960"

    I won't dispute the claim, but the difference is surely not because the European economy has grown but because of what China now represents in the global economy. From 1960 forward, China's economy has grown by leaps and bounds, Europe not so much. In the meantime, however, Europe's generous social welfare costs have grown, enough so they cannot afford to defend themselves against the Great Satan Russia. Europe needs US, boy do they need US.

  3. "President Trump wisely used his power to impose tariffs to get the European Union to drop its high tariffs on products made in the USA." Hogwash. So there are no tariffs on US products? He didn't "get" the European to do anything. Not sure if you fell for the misleading information or are complicate in spreading false information.

    1. Um, please read this.

    2. Now, Don, you're confusing old Nony with facts again....

    3. You could get Nony to come out against free beer if you wrote that Trump was in favor if it, Don.

    4. The man is a devote Trump hater on all occasions.
      You really need to get some better Trolls Don, the current batch is pretty weak.

  4. At some nebulous point in time, I guess Trump will actually make a big mistake and the Nevertees can say, "I told you so." But I'm not holding my breath.

  5. President Trump is releasing the U.S. economy from the stranglehold of multinational corporations, including BIG AG (agricultural). The reason the economy deteriorated, particularly farming, is because there is no supply/demand any longer. It is controlled markets - controlled by multinational corporations and their Wall Street financiers.

    President Trump is realigning our economy with Main Street. That necessarily requires a major realignment of how Wall Street has been doing business for decades, and they don't like it one bit. They are watching the billions they spent on lobbyists and bought-and-paid-for Congress critters crumble under the weight of MAGAnomics. - Elric

  6. I like Free Trade, MAGA DJT likes Free Trade. What we have had, and even still have, is NOT Free Trade.

    How to get there? Because the dishonest NeverTrumpers are content with mere verbal support for Free Trade, they're against using bargaining chips.

    The FAKE News hysteria about a Trade War was always suspect.

  7. Trump can only win these struggles by creating an economic reality that cannot be denied even when the media is denying it. There is no other way. He and his cabinet members just keep plugging away at their plans because they accept this truth about the world as it is. That his approval numbers have not collapsed shows this policy is connected with most voter's perceptions of reality too. Doublethink does not yet really exist except perhaps in the feavered minds of Resistance editors.

  8. What's that liberal rag the WSJ have to say?

    "Mr. Juncker grabbed the opportunity to argue that both sides need to refrain from further punitive tariffs or they would foolishly harm themselves.

    “If you want to be stupid,” he told Mr. Trump, “I can be stupid, as well.”"

    Sure, Juncker can call Trump "stupid". What's that say about his sycophants?

  9. If someone else is stupid, why would you want to be stupid, too? That's stupid. - Elric

  10. A French guy once said to me he would never consider becoming a "boss" because of the pain involved. By boss he meant having 5 employees. Junker is a paper tiger.

  11. Have the new tariffs been instituted already, or are they still "to be" in the future?
    Stuff I've been reading makes it sound like we're already charging the new tariff rates, but I'm not sure.
    For example, have we raised tariffs on Canada for newsprint? Or is that planned for some future date?

  12. Nobody is required to buy anything from a foreign country. Buying a Chinese bicycle or a European car is a voluntary act. In the land of the free and the home of the brave how is it the role of the government to tell its citizens what they can buy and how much they will pay for it?

  13. RINOS and rhinos will be headed for extinction. Even now they are found ony in limited environments heavily protected by liberal newsprint or armed rangers. A famous 'maverick' RINO seems headed for a lawn soon accompanied by lavish media praise. This RINO knew how the win elections and little else.

  14. For the left, they are undergoing an economic apocalypse. It's just terrible that we have a strong economy as far as leftards are concerned.