Trade War Casualties

In addition to US tariffs raising the cost of the steel and aluminum Harley uses to make motorcycles for Americans, TrumpTrade is driving US manufacturing jobs to Europe. Doesn’t say how many jobs will be lost, but 40,000 motorcycles a year are no longer going to be made here. Meanwhile, Harley has to eat $30… Continue reading Trade War Casualties

This is new

But it still shows President Trump's confusion on trade and tariffs. From whitehouse.gov:Press Conference by President Trump After G7 SummitEmphasis mine. Q Mr. President, you said that this was a positive meeting, but from the outside, it seemed quite contentious. Did you get any indication from your interlocutors that they were going to make any… Continue reading This is new

Mercantilist revivalism

Used to be when you said "conservative" people had a clear idea of what you meant philosophically. Adam Smith, W. F. Buckley, Goldwater, Reagan, or Cruz might come to mind. Maybe it would invoke the tea party, free trade, Constitutional originalism, free markets, and opposition to deficit spending. Now, it's all a mess thanks to… Continue reading Mercantilist revivalism

A thought on President Trump’s apparent renewed Trade War

Any price increase due to import taxes, aka protectionist tariffs, exactly equals the reduction in the disposable income of consumers in the country imposing the tariff. While this benefits the general government coffers, it loots every citizen’s pocket - even those who never buy the good in question: The consumer is forced to either buy… Continue reading A thought on President Trump’s apparent renewed Trade War

Post scriptum

Apropos of President Trump's Bezos bashing is this 2017 article from the Wall Street Journal: Why the Post Office Gives Amazon Special DeliveryMyopia is the first word that springs to mind on reading this. Well, the first polite word. The author knows regulation is the problem, and proposes more regulation as the solution. Yes, United… Continue reading Post scriptum

DesaliNation

Protectionism is trickling down from Washington, and leading the charge is Michigan state Senator Rick Jones, yet another economically undereducated Republican. At present, Michigan buys road salt on a best price basis. However, our legislators are discussing a 6% tariff (note: this was originally 8%, as some of the articles quoted below state) on salt… Continue reading DesaliNation

Negotiating tactic

I keep seeing this defense of the President's tariff policy: "The threat of trade war is just a smart negotiating tactic. Chill out." I concede the possibility that it is a negotiating tactic. However, that doesn't make it an intelligent or wise negotiating tactic.One problem is that lying about the economic effects of tariffs encourages… Continue reading Negotiating tactic

Squandered

A very short history of US steel making after WWII.How the U.S. Squandered Its Steel SuperiorityIn the early 50’s the Europeans were rebuilding their steel industry with new technology: "The cost of building steel mills using the basic-oxygen furnaces was 40 to 50 percent lower than conventional open-hearth factories; operating costs were 25 percent lower,… Continue reading Squandered

Trump’s tax increases

Tariffs are alleged to benefit the US at the expense of foreigners. In fact, they benefit a small coterie of businesses at the expense of everyone else. The increased cost of houses due to the President's lumber tariffs doesn't just mean fewer houses being sold, it also means those who do buy houses have less… Continue reading Trump’s tax increases