Trump's steel tariff


How is getting more money for the things we’re already producing anything other than a good thing? You act like export tariffs aren’t a cost to a business. If tariffs fall - margins rise. So the impact of this deal is:
U.S. companies have a higher margin on the same goods/services
The Chinese government gets less revenue on the back of U.S. companies.

Seems like a good thing all around.


… What are you talking about? The consumer/importer pays the tariff, not the company. Not unless said company is the one importing the good from America, into China.

American manufactures may get more demand as a consequence, and sure, that’s a good thing (so long as we’re talking about actual demand, and not token behavior on the regime’s part)… still not affecting the trade balance tho’.

Because again, that has more to do with consumer spending habits in each nation, which adjust in cyclical patterns. The Chinese savings rate is more than double ours right now.


China’s efforts to protect its own markets hurt Chinese citizens. It benefits us on their backs. Free trade is the antidote. Responding with regulation (tariffs in this case) will not free markets. It does the opposite.

So, I can in fact be for free trade and oppose any of China’s futile and destructive attempts to “protect” and manage its economy via central planning and public policy while also opposing our futile and destructive attempts to manage our own economy via central planning and public policy.

I don’t like President Trump. He’s a shifty blowhard whose only consistent rhetoric is an anti-trade deficit rant since the 1970s. That won’t make me hate someone or even dislike them. I live in a town full of conservatives who are all to happy to spend tax dollars on face improvements on private businesses.I still like most of the ones I know.

Trump’s personal behavior is sub-standard for my taste .I wouldn’t want to be friends with him, and I still believe that “character counts” just like Rush Limbaugh said during the Clinton Administration. That was the right call then. It’s the right call now. I am very happy to applaud President Trump when he does excellent things, most notably appointing Gorsuch as well as his commitment (as far as it’s been able to go) to reducing regulations and the tax cuts. I also highly approve of treating Kim Jong Whatshis Face the same way Kim Jong Whatshis Face treats everyone else and calling him names.

The Chinese government isn’t getting revenue on the backs of U.S. companies. If what you and others say is true, it gets revenue off the sweat of its own people. I’m curious how you think we’re going to get “more money for the things we’re already producing.” Do you think the Chinese are going to send us more money?


Are you REALLY unaware that India, for example, levies a 100% TAX on Harley Davidson motorcycles sold in India and the U.S. taxes virtually NOTHING sent to us from India? Are you aware that China LIMITS the number of U.S. made cars that can be sold there and levies a 30% TAX on those they DO allow in?


I may or may not have read about these things. You may or may not have mentioned them in the past. I don’t have an encyclopedia of economic wrongdoings in my head. I oppose these things strongly. They should stop. They’re hurting their own people. China gets crappy Chinese cars, and India gets crappy Indian bikes. Meanwhile their local manufacturers can get away with murder because they don’t have to complete and charge higher prices for low quality.

So do you have links to any stories discussing these particular taxes so I can read more about them?


Which is all a cost to the importer, not the company.

Any protectionism, just ends up costing the host nation its own relevance:

Most innovations happen external of you, because most of the world’s population live there. Block off foreign products, you just block off economic merit.


BS. Do you think some Indian guy is going to pay $45,000, half of which goes to the Indian government, for a Harley when he can buy a Honda or Kawasaki for under $8K? That hurts Harley Davidson…and it’s INTENTIONAL.


No Dave, you didn’t read my post:

It isn’t a “cost” to not get a sale. You’re misusing words.


That hurts the consumer who can’t buy a Harley. Harley keeps selling where it has markets, and Americans keep working and producing alternative goods and services. The Indians forego the motorcycles they might prefer at a lower price. They lose. If they buy, they lose too when they hand half their cash to the government. The people lose because Honda can comfortably sell at $7,000 or $8,000 or $10,000 instead of $6,000 or so (I have no idea what motorcycle pricing is like – it doesn’t matter) because Harleys don’t come in at $22,500 and snatch a little of their market. The people lose because their government will decide how to spend the money the Indian government confiscates from its people on sales like that. Indians lose.

If your assertion is that Indians win under this scenario (which you must be saying because you think Americans will win doing the same kind of thing to the Chinese) please explain how. They get to import crappy motorcycles from a different country instead?


You ignored the second part of my post (as usual.). We don’t impose ANY such tax on Indian-manufactured goods they send us. To you, them making OUR goods prohibitively expensive while allowing THEM to send us cheap goods constitutes “fair trade”. That’s BS.


It’s not about what’s “fair”, that term is nebulous, and BS.

What we do know is the long term effects of protectionism;

Lack of innovation, and an anemic economy.

Just like Brazil, just like Japan.

You think India is “winning” because you don’t look at long term effects, nor question why it is India is not at the same level or better than China economically, when they didn’t deal with the full-on Communism of Mao.


We win. We get cheap stuff subsidized by them. That’s another reason the Indians lose.

And what’s this bit about “fair” trade? Since when do Republicans walk around talking about “fair” trade? That’s how socialists justify everything – “fairness.” Do you really think politicians should decide whether your purchases are “fair”? I know what a whole lot of them think you trade unfairly.


We SHOULD be trading a couple bushels of corn for a barrel of crude oil, just for example. THAT would be fair trade. China wants to sell us their products, but imposes taxes on the products that OUR manufacturers export to China in order to make them more expensive for their consumers to buy…resulting in trade imbalances. Yes, Chinese consumers are harmed by that policy…BUT SO ARE AMERICAN BUSINESSES which lose a large number of potential consumers as a result.


Trump isn’t playing 11th dimensional chess here. He’s been very open from the start. He wants China(and other countries) to remove unilateral tariffs against American goods. Yes, he says if they refuse to do this, he will level matching tariffs against them. The goal here is not to raise tariffs all around. It’s to eliminate(or greatly reduce) them. He’s made very good progress on this front.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen the position that one-sided tariffs on our exports is good for us. From anyone, ever. How exactly would that work?


Canada didn’t move, and the only tariff China is lowering is the auto tariff, which means little, as most major auto brands already have factories in China, where labor is cheaper, and you don’t have to pay for transportation. Or the 15% tariff they’ll still be placing on cars.

Because they also subsidize their goods, we get stuff for less than it’s worth. India is subsidizing our ability to re-capitalize ourselves. They’re basically paying us to stay ahead. Same to China.


Then you haven’t looked very far. There’ve been plenty of links here at this site, but then they’re automatically rejected as lying liars, so don’t know how to help you.

But for those who will not believe, AS summarizes it very well in his post above:


Tariffs on our products doesn’t subsidize their products. It lowers quantity demanded of our exports(or else price should our exporters lower prices in response).

If what you’re actually saying is basically this:
They tax our exports and a small portion of that tax ends up going into industry subsidies, and then that lowers prices for what hey eventually export.

That’s both extremely indirect, and inefficient. Because they spend less than 1/5 of their tax revenues on economic projects. Most of it goes into public use like education, healthcare, and municipal infrastructure.

Are you talking about the articles that AS tends to link?


Tariffs on our products just lead to them stagnating. Again, see what Brazil did to their computer industry.

I doubt they intentionally design the revenue flows that way; more likely the subsidies are from general revenue.

And the point remains; they subsidize their products, we get them for less. It’s a boon for us because, capitalization.

And that 90% of imports, are intermediate goods for our own exports.

You mean like that source where you conveniently overlooked it saying immigrants provide 15x more in economic activity than they cost in benefits, only focusing on where it said they consume more public benefits in excess of taxes?

I could also cite you for throwing stones in glass houses; given your source on wage effects proved me right.


For example, I’ll avoid the Austrian School, which no doubt is now rejected out of hand by conservatives and settle on Chicago with Milton Friedman, a free-market economist I haven’t heard conservatives dismiss yet.

In the international trade area, the language is almost always about how we must export, and what’s really good is an industry that produces exports. And if we buy from abroad and import, that’s bad. But surely that’s upside-down. What we send abroad we can’t eat, we can’t wear, we can’t use for our houses. The goods and services we send abroad, are goods and services not available to us. On the other hand, the goods and services we import, they provide us with TV sets we can watch, automobiles we can drive, with all sorts of nice things for us to use. The gain from foreign trade is what we import. What we export is the cost of getting those imports. And the proper objective for a nation as Adam Smith put it, is to arrange things, so we get as large a volume of imports as possible, for as small a volume of exports as possible.

The point being, that our point of view, that trade imbalances actually benefit us is easy to find.

Since one-side tariffs may result in the above scenario – the scenario you and so many Democrats and Republicans worry about and is your complaint about foreign tariffs – Friedman is saying exactly what AS and I keep saying. That’s Milton Friedman who was regularly invoked on behalf of conservative economics arguments for 40, 50 years or more.


I reject nothing that Friedman wrote and nothing that Friedman wrote opposes anything that Trump has done.

The attempt to apply general theories to specific situations with a steadfast refusal to consider the actual dynamics in play is why teachers teach instead of doing; it is also why Trump does not waste one second trying to explain the situation.

It is a complete waste of time to try and get the theorists on board, until someone writes a textbook on it after the fact it will not exist to them; just do it and let the results speak for themselves.