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Trump Tariffs

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  • Independent
    Washington
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    I don't much about tariffs, but nearly everyone is saying trump proposed tariffs will be very bad for US companies and people.

    My perception: This will go no where. Trump will throw a big public hissy-fit, refusing to never ever back down, but after 10 days, it will be old news with nothing happening. If asked his answer will be "It will be happening very very soon." And thankfully, "Tariffs" will be added to trump's long list of items he claims he's accomplished, but never actually did anything. Maybe he'll put a 10 cent tariff on imported beach sand, and claim victory.

  • Independent
    Washington
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    1) A comment was made on one of the shows that even steel workers will loose on the deal.Unlikely to save any jobs, and workers pay for that tariff tax just like the rest of us.

    2) Other Speculation is that trump will use the tarriff get force Mexico to pay for the wall by granting them exception for several billion, or trump may claim that the tariffs on mexico is paying for the wall.

    "See, I told you I would get Mexico to pay for the wall. I always keep my promises 100%. That is why they call me The Real Deal Trump in NY. I like the sound of that don't you! And people all over the world are lining up to make deals with me. I'd list all the big names, but we'd be here all night. Its amazing, truly truly fantastic"

  • Independent
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    Since he can’t unilaterally impose a tariff unless there is a crisis (and there isn’t) I would expect a suit to be brought or legislation. Also NAFTA precludes the imposition of tariffs unless he withdraws from it.

    This will play nicely with some of his base until the cost increases impact them. It also will not force companies to employ more people. The tariff boat sailed when the country took the free trade route. Once undone it will be difficult if not impossible to redo.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    This is another issue that divides Democrats. Those who look at the big economic picture like Robert Reich are opposed to the Trump tariffs. Yet if you come from a steel making state, then you are probably cheering it on. That's what Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania are doing.

    I have Googled Bernie Sanders on the Trump tariffs and so far I cannot find any public statements by him. My guess is he is supportive. I also searched to see if Sanders economic adviser, Stephanie Kelton had stated a public opinion but no she too has been quiet.

    But I liked this opinion article by Catherine Rampell in the Washington Post:

    Don’t blame China, Mr. President. Blame the robots.

    "Mr. President, if you’re looking for someone to demonize for killing blue-collar jobs in your favorite industries, don’t blame China and “bad trade deals.” Blame the robots."

    As Rampell points out, "thirty years ago, the U.S. iron and steel mills employed about 188,000 people. Today, that number is about 86,000." However, we’re still producing about as much steel today as we did 30 years ago but just with half as many workers as "technological advances — or, to oversimplify, robots" are taking their jobs.

    This is a trap that both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders fell into during their campaigns. They used China and Mexico as the whipping posts to drum up votes while never mentioning robots or market conditions for the loss of jobs. Now Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum have little to do with China and Mexico and a whole hell of a lot to do with Canada and Brazil. Will Canada become the "New China" for Bernie Sanders whipping post?

    Still waiting to hear from Sanders. Someone write in if they know he has chimed in. Ditto for Stephanie.

  • Independent
    Washington
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    Is Paul Ryan really against trump's Tariffs, or is just making a public BS statement because Harley Davidson and practically everyone saying to him "No fucking tarrifs!"

    I personally don't know where Paul Ryan really stands on the issue.

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Harley Davidson is in Wisconsin. Retaliatory tariffs on a US motorcycle will hurt employment back home.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    wwjd Wrote: My perception: This will go no where. Trump will throw a big public hissy-fit, refusing to never ever back down, but after 10 days, it will be old news with nothing happening. If asked his answer will be "It will be happening very very soon." And thankfully, "Tariffs" will be added to trump's long list of items he claims he's accomplished, but never actually did anything. Maybe he'll put a 10 cent tariff on imported beach sand, and claim victory.

    It may go nowhere, but he also seems to be digging in more and more now that he's been roundly criticized for his proposal. I wouldn't be surprised if he unilaterally decides to start a trade war in a desperate attempt to direct the conversation away from the ever deepening Special Counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the '16 election.

    As Schmidt also pointed out - tariffs aren't going to bring back manufacturing jobs. And as technology advances there will fewer and fewer manufacturing jobs no matter what politicians or Presidents say. Machines don't need to take vacation or sick days.

    So Donald may start a trade war that winds up costing our economy trillions of dollars and potentially hurt the very people he says he's trying to help simply because he's an arrogant buffoon who can't help but go against whatever advice the adults in the room give him.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Stealing jobs from other countries is not the answer. Creating new jobs is the answer. It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the solution . A clue is the DOW radically out of proportion at 25000 to GDP. But just like the working class voting Republican Wall Street seems to have sacred immunity . In spite of Dodd Frank . Why Are Democrats Helping Trump Dismantle Dodd-Frank?

    mobile.nytimes.com/2018/03/06/opinion/democrats-trump-dodd-frank.html

    Many conditions are all ready at or exceeding the 2008 trigger.

  • Independent
    Washington
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    WH Aide: "Mr President, the ship is heading directly toward that big ice berg. Everyone believes it will sink the ship"

    Trump: "Bullshit, my ship never sinks, it eats icebergs like marshmallows. BTW, Where is commander Cohn?"

    WH Aide: "He left the ship sir, along with the rest of the crew. Just me, you, Jared, Ivanka, and Kelly"

    Trump: "Well, I am still here, that all that matters. How do we make this thing go faster? I want to see it hit the iceberg at full speed"

  • Independent
    Washington
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:

    As Schmidt also pointed out - tariffs aren't going to bring back manufacturing jobs. And as technology advances there will fewer and fewer manufacturing jobs no matter what politicians or Presidents say. Machines don't need to take vacation or sick days.

    So Donald may start a trade war that winds up costing our economy trillions of dollars and potentially hurt the very people he says he's trying to help simply because he's an arrogant buffoon who can't help but go against whatever advice the adults in the room give him.

    Yeah, my grandmother (b 1911) lived through various different eras, such as when the mass production of the Model-T wiped out the the mainstain horse industry. And the era where the refrigerator destroyed the ICE industry. There are many other examples. And each generation found jobs, just not the same jobs that disappeared because of technology.

    He is a buffoon, its just hard to know if anything he says is intended to be real, or a distraction, or pretending to be fulfilling a unrealistic campaign promise.

    The only thing I am sure about, unless he directly benefits from it, it won't happen.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Dallas, TX
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    This is another issue that divides Democrats. Those who look at the big economic picture like Robert Reich are opposed to the Trump tariffs. Yet if you come from a steel making state, then you are probably cheering it on. That's what Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania are doing.

    I have Googled Bernie Sanders on the Trump tariffs and so far I cannot find any public statements by him. My guess is he is supportive. I also searched to see if Sanders economic adviser, Stephanie Kelton had stated a public opinion but no she too has been quiet.

    But I liked this opinion article by Catherine Rampell in the Washington Post:

    Don’t blame China, Mr. President. Blame the robots.

    "Mr. President, if you’re looking for someone to demonize for killing blue-collar jobs in your favorite industries, don’t blame China and “bad trade deals.” Blame the robots."

    As Rampell points out, "thirty years ago, the U.S. iron and steel mills employed about 188,000 people. Today, that number is about 86,000." However, we’re still producing about as much steel today as we did 30 years ago but just with half as many workers as "technological advances — or, to oversimplify, robots" are taking their jobs.

    This is a trap that both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders fell into during their campaigns. They used China and Mexico as the whipping posts to drum up votes while never mentioning robots or market conditions for the loss of jobs. Now Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum have little to do with China and Mexico and a whole hell of a lot to do with Canada and Brazil. Will Canada become the "New China" for Bernie Sanders whipping post?

    Still waiting to hear from Sanders. Someone write in if they know he has chimed in. Ditto for Stephanie.

    Hey Schmidt,

    Here's Dr Kelton's MMT paper on trade from like 2003 written with John Henry.

    cfeps.org/pubs/wp-pdf/WP26-HenryBell.pdf

    Here's what Warren Mosler wrote a year ago and recently revised to keep current

    (the underlined is my emphasis)

    Shop to Win!

    The President no doubt knows that when you go shopping, buying at the lowest price is the mark of a winner, while paying too much is the mark of a loser. Yet when it comes to buying lumber from Canada, cars from Germany, and now steel and aluminum, the President has viciously attacked and is now retaliating against other nations for not charging us enough for their products!

    And while everyone knows that buying at the lowest price is a good thing, there is no serious push back from Democrats, the ‘free trade’ Republicans, the media or any of the headline mainstream analysts. There is clearly something very wrong with their underlying mainstream logic that leads to this type of costly Presidential blunder.

    Yes, when we buy imports jobs are lost, just as when we replace workers with machines, including lawn mowers, vacuum cleaners, and power washers, jobs are lost. And yet somehow we’ve survived all that. We went from needing 99% of the people working to grow our food to less than 1%, and manufacturing jobs are down to only 7% of the labor force. And yet the remaining 90% of us are not all unemployed, as jobs have proliferated in the service sector, where most of those jobs are now considered to be better jobs than the lost agricultural and manufacturing jobs. Nor has a trade deficit necessarily resulted in higher unemployment or lower pay. In 1999, for example, we had record imports with unemployment under 4% and inflation under 2%, and students were getting recruited for good paying jobs well before graduation.

    The answer to sustaining high levels of employment and pay is fiscal policy. If for any reason, including more imports, weak demand at home is keeping unemployment too high or wages too low, the appropriate policy response is fiscal relaxation- either a tax cut or spending increase, even if that increases the public debt- and not to tax or otherwise drive up the cost of imports. Unfortunately however, the policy that allows all of us to pay the lowest prices for imports and have good paying jobs to replace those lost because of imports has been taken entirely off the table by both Republicans and Democrats. Consequently a very good thing for America- lower prices of imports- has been turned into a very bad thing- unemployment, and all because of the fake news about the public debt that is supported by Republicans and Democrats.

    The US public debt is nothing more than the dollars spent by the federal government that have not yet been used to pay taxes. Those dollars spent and not yet taxed sit in bank accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank that are called ‘reserve accounts’ and ‘securities accounts’, along with the actual cash in circulation. Treasury securities (bonds, notes, and bills) are nothing more than dollars in securities accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank, functionally the same as dollars in savings accounts or CD’s at commercial banks.

    Think of it this way- when the government spends a dollar, that dollar either is used to pay taxes and is lost to the economy, or it’s not used to pay taxes and remains in the economy. Deficit spending adds to those dollars that were spent but not yet taxed, which is called the public debt. And what’s called ‘paying off the debt’ (as happens to 10’s of billions of Treasury securities every month) is just a matter of the Fed shifting dollars from securities accounts to reserve accounts- a simple debit and a credit- all on its own books. (No tax payers or grand children required…) The ‘ability to pay’ is always there- it’s just a debit and a credit to accounts on the books of the Federal Reserve Bank. The fear mongering about the US running out of money or constraints by foreigners is simply not applicable to today’s monetary system.

    And if you are worried about inflation, our proposal works to lower prices for all of us, while the Presidents direct policy is to raise the prices we all pay.

    And if the concern is national security, the policy response that best serves public interest is to order the defense department to require domestic sourcing of what they consider strategically important,
    and let the rest of us continue to shop for the lowest possible prices.

    Point is, once it’s understood that 1) the public debt is nothing more than what can be called the net money supply 2) there is no risk of default 3) there is no dependence on foreign or any other lenders 4)there is no burden being put on future generations the President will be free to make us all winners by being our shopper in chief who works to get us the lowest possible prices.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Carlitos, You make no mention of the velocity of money or the supply of money available for consumer spending. I think those are the most important features determine the health of an economy. The supply of money has been adversely effected by conservative actions starting most significantly with Reagan. Why is that?
  • Independent
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    This is another issue that divides Democrats. Those who look at the big economic picture like Robert Reich are opposed to the Trump tariffs. Yet if you come from a steel making state, then you are probably cheering it on. That's what Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania are doing.

    I have Googled Bernie Sanders on the Trump tariffs and so far I cannot find any public statements by him. My guess is he is supportive. I also searched to see if Sanders economic adviser, Stephanie Kelton had stated a public opinion but no she too has been quiet.

    But I liked this opinion article by Catherine Rampell in the Washington Post:

    Don’t blame China, Mr. President. Blame the robots.

    "Mr. President, if you’re looking for someone to demonize for killing blue-collar jobs in your favorite industries, don’t blame China and “bad trade deals.” Blame the robots."

    As Rampell points out, "thirty years ago, the U.S. iron and steel mills employed about 188,000 people. Today, that number is about 86,000." However, we’re still producing about as much steel today as we did 30 years ago but just with half as many workers as "technological advances — or, to oversimplify, robots" are taking their jobs.

    This is a trap that both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders fell into during their campaigns. They used China and Mexico as the whipping posts to drum up votes while never mentioning robots or market conditions for the loss of jobs. Now Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum have little to do with China and Mexico and a whole hell of a lot to do with Canada and Brazil. Will Canada become the "New China" for Bernie Sanders whipping post?

    Still waiting to hear from Sanders. Someone write in if they know he has chimed in. Ditto for Stephanie.

    Ok, a couple of things.

    First, it is absolutely correct that technology has been more damaging to industries like steel or cars or appliances.

    Next it is true that companies move production to low wage areas because the purpose of a company is to make money and controlling costs is paramount.

    Then we have the issue which lies at the heart of the problem. While we may have full or what idiot economists claim is full employment wages have barely budged either real or in terms of inflation. Several books have been written regarding a two-tiered economy with so-called superstars that service wealth/capital and everyone else making due with less in terms of quality and wages. This is tied to what Robert Gordon discusses in “The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War.” The innovations and inventions during the period from the end of the civil war to around the 1950’s were labor creating. Nothing since then has been as labor creating and most in fact have been labor destroying. This more than any thing has impacted wages and employment.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    As usual, no one points to the stupidity in the "laws" here. It never should be possible that an President can demand and is authorized to impose tariffs. Again as I said a million times; "amend" the stupid Constitution in a lot of area's. This country is now stuck with an super brainless asshole because of this stupid antique piece of shit paper. Wake up America; you are doing all these things to yourself.

    In "normal" countries these things are discussed beforehand by "experts"; of course not here!; an"old" man (Ross) who barely can speak and still lives in 1950 pushes these things here in order to score with the "idiot". Wow, what a country.

    Stupidity reigns.

  • Independent
    Washington
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    washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/03...

    It was reported yesterday by several major sources (ie WP,NYT, etc) that trump did not plan the tariffs. At best he had informal discussions about doing it, but trump has informal discussions about doing 100s of things. There was no plan, he simply announced it, and nobody at the WH knew it was coming except for hints from his rants. The 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum was numbers he pulled out of butt.

    It was reported that the main reason Cohn resigned was because he wasn't going the spokesperson trying to sell shit.

    Sanders @ WH Breifing: "You're not understanding the president, what he means by 'tariffs' is you're all fucked, and he doesn't give a shit.... please stop asking me to explain the obvious"