Trump's steel tariff


I have always believed, and continue to do so, that self sufficiency in strategic resources is the primary concern. I was merely addressing the economic cliches that are continually made about the tariff.


Pfft – I heard on the radio that they were citing the main reason as “IP theft”. :vb-unhappy:

They can’t keep their damn minds, because it’s all BS. Not a lick of it provides a rationale for why tariffs are the answer to any of it.


BS, our main import source of Steel is Canada, our next largest are South Korea and Mexico.

We are in no danger of losing supply from any of them, and military consumes 3% of what we ourselves produce domestically.

This is a thin veil for “economic nationalism”, and the thought anyone could hide that is absurd.

Cronyism is as cronyism does.

The cliches that make Italy, France, and Brazil the indisputable losers they are?

It’s only “irrelevant” to people who don’t pay attention.


I should set my clocks to it!


Why? You cling to sophistry in many of your arguments, and seems to work for you. Or you think it does.


I tend to rely on other people; that’s a criticism of me I agree with. But that makes a “sophistry” criticism hard to substantiate, when what I’m leveraging is knowledge from disciplines in my argument.

There’s practical evidence that my arguments hold, and are therefore somewhere in the area of “true”.

You don’t tend to be familiar with the disciplines I’m leveraging, thus, you don’t tend to know enough to invalidate it.

So you just make a whole range of complaints, this being one of them, instead of going to the effort to learn enough about the topic to actually argue it with me.

Knowing less than me, doesn’t mean I’m right; that’s a nuance I think you lose sight of.


When a false premise (in this case that all tariffs are protectionism) is given respect in the form of debate, nothing but pages of irrelevant obfuscation will follow.

Tariffs are no different than any other tax, all have the capacity to fund a necessary evil like government and all can be abused and be a net harm to the citizenry.

Protectionism does not exclude the largest importers who compete with a domestic product.

The only valid debate over this Tariff is whether it is an appropriate funding mechanism and whether it is applied in such a manner as to discipline trade partners who are gaming their pacts with us and others.

On those points Trump is on solid ground so I don’t expect those points to be given any quarter by his critics, which is a victory in itself.

When a false premise is needed in order to oppose anything you can be certain that the real reason for the opposition is too shameful to admit.


Then treat it in a polcy like a tax, not

  1. Protection for the economy or
  2. Punishment for any x, y, z reason.

A tariff for tax reasons is very low, because it’s trying to maximize revenue, paying attention to the Laffer Curve. Reagan talked on this, so did his advisor for which this is named.

A protectionist tariff is like Japan’s on rice, 750%. it doesn’t raise much revenue at all, because that isn’t the point.

You can’t conflate a protectionist tariff vs one for revenue, because they give you different results.

Sorry RET, but you know the difference, this argumentation was never going to fly in a post-Reagan world.
Or post the Egyptian scholar Reagan quoted to show this difference.

And there’s also another criteria; does this punishment work?

The answer to that is “no”. China didn’t change it’s policy, this only forced China to make another cronyist arrangement to change the trade deficit, which even you admit is unimportant.


Yet the president does not turn to this as an argument to support his tax increases, nor has it been the discussion here.


It is not the discussion here because the false premise of “Protectionism” has been the ridiculous accusation from the opponents of this Tariff.

It has not been “discussed” anywhere else because it is self evident, who except Libertarians think all tariffs and taxes cause more harm than good and should never be used as a tool to pressure trade partners who game their trade policies but reside outside of our political control?

That is not a rhetorical question, I seriously don’t know anyone who doesn’t get this except for Libertarians.


It is when it clearly isn’t for raising revenue. There’s a pretty easy way to assess that; are you paying attention to the Laffer Curve?

Or some other principle for maximizing revenue?

If the justification is “protecting the economy”, and revenue isn’t the aim, then yes, it’s protectionist. You may not play with words RET. Playing semantics gets you no where.

Because it doesn’t work.

It didn’t work with Canada, it hasn’t worked with China.

And in the meantime, you’re telling our domestic industries and consumers of steel to go pound sand & be less competitive.

Which is BS, and you know it.


Jobs and national security arguments have been made over and over again by Trump and here on this site. That’s not libertarians. That’s the president and Republicans. You once argued against protectionism against the large contingent here who supported protectionism – in response to Donald Trump’s comments during his election. Not the president nor his supporters have argued that we need to tariffs in order to increase revenue – until you claimed the only valid point for discussion was whether it was an appropriate funding mechanism a couple posts back. Protectionism has been the primary underlying argument for a couple of years now.

Further, no one has suggested that all tariffs are protectionism. I could be convinced on the national security argument. We’re just not in danger of being de-fanged because we import steel. Although I’m likely to dismiss it, I could potentially be convinced to support it as a funding mechanism in lieu of other taxes.The argument that tariffs save American jobs is absurd, and the damage such a tax might cause to job markets and consumers is my general reason for opposing it as a funding mechanism.

I, of course, would expect Democrats to embrace the tariffs as “much-needed” revenue for a bloated government that – not even under Donald Trump – will control its spending. But even they haven’t bothered. Their Trump Derangement Syndrome won’t let them. Now it’s an R vs. D, red vs. blue thing.

“We want a lot of steel coming into our country, but we want it to be fair, we want our workers to be protected,” Trump said Thursday before signing an order on the tariffs.

“This is an industry that is in serious condition if you turn to the steel industry since 200,000 we’ve lost over 50,00 jobs, since 200 we’ve lost 40,000 in aluminum,” a senior administration official said Friday. “So these industries are industries which the president has said we need to be a country, we need to national security, and they are under significant threat.”


I have not changed my position on protectionism, I still condemn the concept.

I also refuse to call a tariff that excludes the largest importers of a commodity and the primary competition for the domestic producers of that commodity “protectionism”.

Since I can think of no reason why anyone would think such a tariff “protects” our domestic steel producers from anything I can only assume that those who call this protectionism do not understand the concept and as a result, they call any tariff “protectionism”.

If there is some other explanation please enlighten me.


Price range; pushing out cheap steel to fill out local producers bottom line.

Cronyism is as cronyism does.

And since the specific rhetoric by the Trump Administration is to “protect steel jobs”, you can’t argue this RET.

You’d be arguing the Administration doesn’t know or understand its own policy is. Is that what you’re doing?

Nope I laid it out, you can tell the difference between a revenue raising tariff and a protectionist one, and this doesn’t meet that test.

This isn’t geared towards revenue, it’s geared towards pushing out the cheaper option of a product in the marketplace. Protectionist by definition.


I’m talking about the production of the STEEL…not products made from steel. But you really knew that.


We SHOULD be protected from predatory imports, AS. Remember that the Chinese SUBSIDIZE steel imports to the US, pricing it to consumers BELOW the cost of production with the INTENT to undercut domestic steel production. Why would they DO that, do you suppose?


Do you not hear President Trump?

Yay, The Chinese government buys steel for us at the expense of its own people. We win!


So what? They can only crowd out cheap steel, and other countries will continue to buy it, giving them an advantage for making products that use it if we don’t.

I said this before, they hurt themselves by doing this. It’s a boon for us, because we get cheaper steel, for even less.


It’s too little too late. Americans don’t have the stomach for the kind of trade wars it would take to even the playing field.


@Rightwing_Nutjob Yes, I hear Trump talking about protecting domestic production.

I also heard countless politicians refer to Obamacare as the “Affordable care act”.

In fact I have never heard politicians name their proposals by names that inspire anything but “feel good” mantras for the uninformed, that is how you build support for your proposals.

I wish the EPA was called EDA for “Environmental Destruction Agency” or Economic Destruction Agency" but that is not how things go.

Trump uses the word “protect” but he does not say he is protecting them from competition, he always specifies “predatory trade practices” made possible by our “stupid politicians” who are "not as smart as the nations they sign agreements with.

You say “yay we win” when a nation subsidies a commodity that they cannot compete with straight on; you are right in the short term as they are essentially subsidizing us as consumers.

However (this will be the paragraph that usually is ignored) the agenda of nations who subsidize commodities for export is not to lose money, the agenda is starve their competition out so they price the commodity at a profit and then move on to another commodity to repeat the strategy.

This results in less or zero competition, which is bad for consumers as prices rise and domestic job opportunities become more scarce.

The classroom answer to this dilemma is usually “so what? When the prices rise we get back in domestically and resume business, in the meantime we get cheap stuff on their dime”.

But outside of the classroom you have to deal with issues like reestablishing infrastructure and gaining government permission to establish new commodity acquisition and processing licenses; something few would risk doing when they know the nation that was using “loss leader” strategies could simply reinstate their subsidies and destroy the new competition before it ever becomes a reality.

This is a sister to monopoly, but instead of one company controlling one Market it is nations with Communism using all markets to systematically put down select competition before moving on to the next Market segment.

Using “Loss Leaders” is how corporate chains have pushed out small hardware stores, auto repair businesses, resturaunts and general shopping stores; the bargains only last until the competition folds.

That is why every small town in America looks alike today.

It is legal domestically and also and internationally but that is because our politicians were not smart enough to include provisions in our trade agreements to forbid such “gaming”.

Trump saw this pattern repeat for decades in the building industries and he saw politicians too dumb to realize they were getting played, he cannot simply toss out all of our trade packs at once; that would lead to economic chaos domestically.

His only other tool is targeted tariffs, which he is using to make his point with trade partners; all of which need us more than we need them.

Trump is not establishing blanket tariffs, he is forcing other nations to choose between either a trade war or ending the practice of “loss leader” policies across Markets.

These nations will talk tough for their own propaganda needs but they are screwed if they lose access to our Markets; we require no access to Markets abroad to prosper and they know it.