Tariffs - No, but give me a solution

By  Bruce Bialosky


Everything I have learned as a capitalist and a Republican is that tariffs are counterproductive. They are hidden taxes that raise the price of the goods we buy and harm trade with other countries, which is not good for America or for our trading partner. If that is so, then provide us with another path to solving the China trading problem. President Trump probably made a mistake with going after steel and aluminum importers as a class. Certainly he has a point that we must maintain our own production capabilities in those areas, but just because our industries are suffering does not mean the exporting country is cheating. In each case, his administration needs to lay out out specifics. If Canada had a 20% tariff on our steel while we had a 2% tariff on theirs, that would be a problem. If negotiations failed to remedy the matter, then an effective case could be made for changing our import policy regarding that specific good from that specific country.

That is part of the reason that hysteria has run rampant from open traders. Armageddon will befall us if Trump actually imposes these tariffs and a “trade war” will ensue. When you invoke the word “war,” it conjures up a vivid picture of devastation in the future. Then if they really want to scare you they will whisper the scariest words in the open trade arsenal: Smoot-Hawley. A


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