Tariffs Hurt

09 Mar
March 9, 2018

President Trump announced a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports. Canada and Mexico are spared for the moment.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/ct-biz-trump-tariff-plan-20180308-story.html

As expected, when the tariffs were first announced, the Trump supporters went wild, while the Trump haters were incensed. Personally, I don’t give a flying fuck about the zealots on either side. They’re more akin to cults than anything else.

The problem are the cheering from blue collar workers who saw their jobs destroyed in the 2000s. Guess what? Those jobs aren’t coming back. Here’s a bit from WSJ:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/steel-tariffs-without-jobs-1520206689

I know that US Steel said it’s reopening some facilities, but how long do you think that’s going to last? Even with the inflated cost caused by the tariff, there is an upper limit to what domestic steel producers can charge. If the cost of labor is too high, then automation will be introduced. Hell, it’ll probably be introduced just to prepare the domestic producers from when the tariffs are rolled back.

And they will be rolled back. Particularly when EVERYONE is hit by the price bump. Because domestic producers aren’t going to stay at their current prices. They’re going to bump them up to just below the tariff price. And that’s going to roll right on down. Guess what those high prices are going to cause? Job losses.

Tariffs always hurt the people who can least afford it. Always.

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