Donald Trump is correct on taxing China at our Water’s edge!

I thought we would eventually agree that a strong manufacturing base is essential to America’s best interests. You are one of the few I have come across who relies upon sound reasoning and facts when engaged in a discussion.

Now, with respect to our Founders’ use of taxing at our water’s edge to encourage ship building on American soil, I believe we are about to agree again for the simple reason it was not only in America’s best interests to do so, but vital to our national defense! I know our “free trade” crowd has been quite successful in portraying any use of Congress’ powers at our water’s edge to advance the best interests of the United States as “protectionism” used in the pejorative sense. But there are many instances which can be cited that the use of such powers can and does advance the general welfare of the United States and a free market system.

With respect to encouraging a ship building industry on American soil, keep in mind how an American owned merchant marine frees America from dependency upon foreign vessels to conduct foreign trade, not to mention how it was used for defending America.

When at war or a threat of piracy was present our Merchant marine vessels were outfitted with arms to protect America’s interests and commerce.

I think you will find the following article interesting and informative with regard to America’s merchant marine. See: Looking at the merchant marine role in 1812

The bottom line is, there are various circumstances under which Congress ought to use its power over commerce and taxation to advance the general welfare of the United States. But that does not mean the American People should submit to Congress using such powers to control, manipulate, and interfere with a free market system. Each case must be carefully decided upon the particulars involved and such powers must be used sparingly so as to not impinge upon the inalienable right of people being free to engage in trade.

And so, we get back to the real issue of trading with China, and also the move afoot to allow our President to exercise “Fast track trade promotion authority” which would essentially remove the people’s representatives from fashioning regulations of commerce with foreign nations which promote America’s best interests.

JWK

1 Like

Tariffs by themselves would not have created a ship building industry. To what extent tariffs may have played a role is debatable. As for congress abrogating their responsibility on trade; it’s stupid and likely a calculated move to cause deeper divisions within the Democrat party. There are much better ways to go about that.

And thank you for the compliment, your arguments are also well reasoned.

You systematically ignore all the arguments that are made which establish the fallacy of using government protectionism in place of the Free Market and instead pose questions that contain the premise that using government protectionism in place of the Free Market will achieve desirable results.

Nobody with any economic acumen accepts the premise that you and Trump embrace, this has been communicated to you quite well with sound arguments and you simply ignore it; would that be because you cannot defend your desired economic structure? If that is so then why on earth would you expect anyone else to join your camp?

1 Like

The Act which stated “…a discount of ten percent on all duties imposed by this Act shall be allowed on such goods, wares, and merchandise as shall be imported in vessels built in the United States, and wholly the property of a citizen or citizens thereof” was merely to “encourage”, not create, ship building on American soil. And it was successful!

I suggest you CLICK HERE and scroll down to “DUTIES ON TONNAGE”. When studying this many, many years ago, I found these Congressional debates on this subject [taxing to encourage shipbuilding on American soil] extremely informative and they helped to convinced me that there are legitimate instances when Congress’ power can be used to advance the best interests of the United States. You can follow the above debate by clicking on “NEXT IMMAGE” located at the bottom of each page.

I hope you find these debates as interesting and informative as I have.

JWK

And all you have to offer are insulting remarks. I thought you were better than that. Guess I was wrong!

JWK

If the truth insults you then embrace ideas that you can defend, you are the only one in control of the things that you advocate.

Judging from your remarks, you don’t even know what premise I embrace!

JWK

I agree with the idea of tariffs, but they must be apolitical tariffs, not ones directed solely at China. Impose a tariff on the value of foreign labor in an imported product or service, based on the relationship of that value to a percentage of the value of American labor. Use simple, objective measures based on U.N. statistics. If not a tariff collected at the time of import, then a sales-type tax collected at point of purchase. Consumers can avoid the tax by buying American. Use the revenue to reduce income tax rates or to invest in infrastructure that employs American workers.

But again tariffs by themselves cannot create a ship building industry. There’s the financing, skilled labor and expertise as well as many other factors. Shippers would want to go with the most cost effective route but there are many other factors that would have gone into their calculations including the reliability and availability of transport.

Tariffs are not a magic bullet. What may have been a plus then, wouldn’t necessarily be one now.

Uh, that’s not a workable idea.

Not only are there no longer analogues in American labor to compare to for many products, for more than a few products this would translate into a mark up of 40-300% if we follow this logic.

What’s more, it would hurt our own exports. Intermediate goods, like metal, are shipped in to produce final goods, like cars. If American producers have to buy their parts at an American rate, they can’t sell them overseas competitively. Which would translate into less jobs.

2 Likes

Let’s not forget that the U.S. has the HIGHEST corporate tax rate on the entire planet. That’s not by accident.

3 Likes

Exactly, one more example of economic illiterates who think that taxing more will eventually solve all problems.

1 Like

But again tariffs by themselves cannot create a shipbuilding industry. There’s the financing, skilled labor and expertise as well as many other factors. Shippers would want to go with the most cost effective route but there are many other factors that would have gone into their calculations including the reliability and availability of transport.

Tariffs are not a magic bullet. What may have been a plus then, wouldn’t necessarily be one now.[/QUOTE]

I believe you already mentioned that, and we are in agreement about a “magic bullet”. The point was to demonstrate how our founders legitimately and effectively used its powers to “encourage” ship building on American soil. There are instances in which Congress may legitimately use its powers over foreign commerce to advance the best interests of the United States. Inspection Laws are also a legitimate use of Congress’ powers to promote the general welfare of the United States. Another legitimate use of Congress’ powers over commerce is to lay a non-discriminatory tonnage tax on all imports to help fill our national treasury. And this is comparable to one having to pay a fee to sell one’s goods and wares at a flea market.

But the topic of the thread is China and regulating its imports to advance the best interests of the United States. I am a firm supporter of people being free to trade as they choose. But “free trade’ begins with people being free to negotiate the value of their own labor. China’s government impinges upon its citizens’right to negotiate the value of their own labor. Should we support this intolerable act by allowing China’s products to freely enter the United States? Or should Congress encourage free trade with China by imposing a tariff to remove its profit from impinging upon its citizens’ inalienable right to negotiate the value of their own labor. This is the moral argument that confronts me in this discussion. Of course, there are a number of other arguments, e.g., SEE [COLOR=blue]China’s Currency Manipulation: APolicy Debate[/COLOR] , and those too must be addressed with America’s best interests in mind. That does not appear to be happening in this thread.

JWK

And that is why we need to find candidates who will work to send the Fair Share Balanced Budget Amendment to the states for ratification which will end this immoral and destructive tax, and end the socialist and failed experiment with federal taxes calculated from profits, gains, salaries and other lawfully earned incomes.

JWK

Just because it’s within the powers of congress doesn’t make it’s the right thing to do. China’s currency manipulation under prices their products. That’s a good deal for american consumers. It’s a simple cost benefit calculation. The only people that tariffs would help are politicians because it allows them to ignore the debt issue a little longer. Tariffs on China would be a bad deal for the American people, not a good one and that’s what matters in the end.

And I have said more than once, yes. But that is not what is at issue. What is, is whether Trump’s propposed tariffs on China is a policy that would accomplish that goal. Since there are numerous other factors that have a greater negative influence on manufacturing in this country, other than China’s currency policies, there is little to suggest tariffs would do little more than add to the money politicians are able to throw around and decrease the standard of living for many Americans.

1 Like

Why do you keep in stating that when in context my statement applied to a specific instance in which our founders used its taxing power to promote America’s best interests? You seem to have a difficult time in stating whether or not you agree with this particular use of Congress’ powers to advance Americas’ best interests.

JWK

Not being there, means I can’t know the full circumstances of that particular situation so I have no way of knowing whether it was the right thing to do or not. It is always possible the situation made such a decision helpful, no matter how unlikely. And what was done then has no bearing on the situation with China so what’s your point? I’ve made it clear, I don’t think it would be helpful now.

I cannot follow your thinking when you speak in generalities and bounce all over the map, so to speak. Shouldn’t we be focusing on how China interferes with a free market system and does so to our disadvantage? You seem to want to give China a free pass and focus on how our own federal government violates the principles of a free market on our own soil. And yet, the focus of this thread is to put a spotlight on the Chinese government’s policies which obstruct a free market system and how those policies have a negative effect on our economy when China is allowed to dump its products into our economy.

I did not hesitate to post my specific opinion regarding China and a free market system. I contended that:

“free trade’ begins with people being free to negotiate the value of their own labor. China’s government impinges upon its citizens’right to negotiate the value of their own labor. Should we support this intolerable act by allowing China’s products to freely enter the United States? Or should Congress encourage free trade with China by imposing a tariff to remove its profit from impinging upon its citizens’ inalienable right to negotiate the value of their own labor. This is the moral argument that confronts me in this discussion. Of course, there are a number of other arguments, e.g., SEE [COLOR=blue]China’s Currency Manipulation: APolicy Debate[/COLOR] , and those too must be addressed with America’s best interests in mind. That does not appear to be happening in this thread."

JWK

My point was very clear and I provided you with a number of examples and sufficient documentation to conclude there are instances in which Congress’ powers can be used at our water’s edge to promote the best interests of the United States.

JWK