Trump's steel tariff


Tsk tsk. So economically illiterate and childish.
Oh, look:


Your point doesn’t prove it: Most importation is about capital improvement, not consumption.

Example: Someone I know runs a Laser etching & cutting business, he uses a re-manufactured Chinese unit to do this.

He could not have his business, if he was forced to buy an American one, at American prices. He, and the American company that re-manufactuers that Chinese product, would both be worse off if they couldn’t import. And so would the U.S.'s economy.

Japan has fallen behind, in part, because it’s expensive for them to buy technology from other places, because they’ve manipulated their own currency to artificially boost exports.

Same to Italy, and their 90’s obsession to be the cheapest producer, which they couldn’t maintain when China entered the WTO, and they couldn’t transition to manufacturing that was value-added (like Germany did.), resulting in their Economy, like Japan, stagnating.

This is why economic literacy matters.

What importation is actually for, is easily verifiable.


Where in the annals of capitalism is it good practice to demand sellers that they charge you more for a product?


As I recall, and I’m sorry I cannot find the story, but as I recall the threat of large-scale US car sales in China is pretty unlikely. If the story I read was true (and I’m remembering it correctly), it wouldn’t matter if the tarrif was 1% or 50%, if we don’t sell a lot of cars in china, so it’s unlikely to have a large impact.


GM is the #1 car company in China. They sell 3 million cars there every year.


Maybe it was Japan…lol


So you think it’s perfectly fine for China to sell us steel below their own production costs, even if it undercuts domestic steel? There’s nothing “capitalistic” about that. It’s a deliberate effort to destroy our own steel producers.


I don’t know if that’s true, but even if it’s close, it’s because of joint ventures like these:

Not cars made in the U.S., exported to China. That number is closer to 250,000. Total, for all automakers.

So no, tariffs have limited impact for us car-export-wise. China’s entry into the WTO meant that they couldn’t use tariffs as their primary means of mercantilism, so it isn’t. It’s government subsidies and making mandatory joint ventures (where the “other” partner owns ~49% or less of the company), like those auto brands above, for any foreign corporation that wants to do business there.


Yes, because it’s a boon to our steel-consuming manufacturing industries at their expense. We benefit from this move.

It also does not, and cannot shutter our Steel industry; did you forget how low they are on the picking order of countries we import Steel from?

That’s because it’s mostly low-quality, and there’s plenty of value-added applications their steel isn’t good for.

Let China be like 90’s Italy, and be king of the Cheap; it doesn’t hurt us at all. It will however hurt them, just like it hurt Italy. Emphasizing cheap, just makes value-added production harder for your economy to do.

People should be asking: Why didn’t Germany suffer the same fate as Italy when China entered the WTO? Why did their manufacturing sector, even with a strong currency, only get stronger?


Just like Wal-Mart has benefited America. It hasn’t been a blight on small businesses and destroyed the economic backbone of thousands of small communities throughout the country. I mean, it sells cheap Chinese stuff, so we’re definitely benefiting from it, because apparently we have no ability to look beyond our nose. Just saved $14 at the register. It can’t possibly have any downstream consequences.

Which is one of the very things Kudlow is working on eliminating or reducing.


Nope, it also benefits manufacturing.

Importation helps production, because Capital improvements, getting the tech/material cost effectively to start making something, or doing things we’d find hard to do otherwise.

I mean, it’s self-evident, here’s our top ten imports:

Electrical machinery, equipment: US$336 billion (14.9% of total imports)
Machinery including computers: $315.4 billion (14%)
Vehicles: $285 billion (12.7%)
Mineral fuels including oil: $163.4 billion (7.3%)
Pharmaceuticals: $92.5 billion (4.1%)
Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $80.8 billion (3.6%)
Gems, precious metals: $67.3 billion (3%)
Furniture, bedding, lighting , signs, prefab buildings: $63.1 billion (2.8%)
Plastics, plastic articles: $50.4 billion (2.2%)
Organic chemicals: $49.8 billion (2.2%)

This is the flipside of imports you don’t interact with CWolf, but I do. I’ve not only gotten to know people who use re-manufactured Chinese equipment because it’s cost effective; I use it myself. I use a preheater for solder reflows and other PCB board rework. I didn’t have the money for an American or Japanese unit, but the Chinese one I have suits me nicely.

In short, Importing cheap steel = win. More capital improvement for industries that need it, and they vastly outnumber the people domestically who produce low-grade steel.

Because economies overtime do this thing (and do look up this phrase) called “value added” production.
That’s why Germany not only didn’t suffer from China joining the WTO; they make the tools and machinery China needs to use to make almost anything in their factories.


Yeah, I think it was Japan…I should have checked before I said anything. Tough crowd…lol


Yea, we are. Merciless, even :smiley:


We exchange money for an item of some value. By definition, what we pay must be less than the value of what we purchase. Both sides of a trade win unless someone is lying about the product – committing fraud.

When companies and individuals over-price or under-price their goods, if they over-pay, the market punishes them. If they find value in trading away their technology, that’s on the folks making the trades. It’s not your technology or mine. And they don’t have to do business with the Chinese. But they clearly see something of value that you do not. The value they receive is higher than the value they give – both directions. If it’s a short-sighted miscalculation, market forces will punish them.

The pile of cheap crap has value to those who purchase it.

We don’t diminish our capacity to produce by buying Chinese goods. We have the resources. We can build capital very quickly if we ever need productive capacity in any particular area – as needed.

Again, it’s strange to see such a fear of trade and cheap goods due to poor economic policies among conservatives and Republicans.

Our steel production was growing prior to the tariff. In any case, China is giving us free stuff on the backs of their people. They’re not destroying our ability to manufacture steel either. We’ll still have the natural resource and the ability to refine and process it. We are capable of very quickly tooling our capital to produce whatever we need. We’re Americans. We’ve done it constantly throughout our history in response to market demands.

Yes, it has. And when China no longer provides cheap stuff for Trump family businesses, we’ll find a new cheap labor pool or begin paying higher prices to high-priced and prosperous American workers.

We’ve saved $14 at the register for decades. We’re producing other things, that which is not made overseas, and we’re employed. I’m not sure why you and Trumpsters are so panicky and dramatic. It must be touch to live in such a constant state of fear :wink:


They’re all “Why don’t we produce Clothes hangers anymore?”

I’m all “I’d rather be the people who make the software, machines & parts, that make the Machines & parts, for making those hangers.”

Like Germany. Value-added, is better than low margin.


You and I are. The people displaced by the Walmartization of America often are not. The labor participation rate falls every year, and has ever since the 1990s.

The machines and parts very much fall into the MAGA line of production, which coat hangers do not. The problem is, you’re down to parse that out to China as well. You also do indeed keep focusing on things like software, which 90% of our native population lacks the intelligence to create(much less our unfiltered migrants).

It’s not like there are a lot of people passing up on mechanical engineering degrees to go work in the gift shop at six flags. We already have about as many people in intellectual fields as we’re able to.
Look at how many people try to get into CS and have to switch to political science and other easier fields?

Look at how many people try to get into nursing programs and fail. I believe the average of people attempting nursing since admission and actually ending up accepted in the program is about 25%(note: not the percent actually applying as plenty have tanked their GPA and have to switch majors). Nursing is LOT easier than software engineer or encryption. There are very few people settling for significantly less than their relative potential.

I would love for America to be loaded down with biologists, and engineers. But our labor pool can never look like that.


Tell that crap to the people of Gary, IN or Bethlehem, PA, or other cities formerly part of the steel producers, RWNJ.


That’s a bad theory Dave; those producers shut down, because they didn’t/couldn’t update when steel manufacturing moved to mini-mills:

Obsolescence is the reason.


They’re not displaced by “Walmartization”, they’re displaced by barriers in rural communities from getting access to capital to replace the businesses they lost.

This can partly be traced back to measures in the Dodd-frank law, which Trump thankfully identified, and has worked to repeal..

Oh, so you do make distinctions as to what manufacturing does, good.

Now let Steel go. Low grade steel is at the bottom of the value chain, and doesn’t harm us at all if we import it.

With each one of those imports, we get to do 5-10 other things, that add value. Making cars, components, housing, what have you; it all gets easier, when the inputs are cheaper.

No, because value-added keeps finding new ways to add value. You just go further up the value chain, and we’re better able to do that, to make (and sell) machines that make machines because we’re more developed, and have a better educated workforce.

… And have immensely better logistics, the cost to ship things intra-China is about 3x ours…

You probably need to watch this Channel, and see a little more as to what’s going on in Engineering.

Graduates are looking elsewhere, to include doing sales.

That wouldn’t be viable anyway. Those are all specialized roles, and you need plenty of other people to be doing lower-grade work just for the need for that specialization to exist.

You can have Phds driving Taxi cabs, and it’s not because their Phds are useless.


We HAVE PhD’s driving taxis and it IS because their PhD’s ARE useless.