Are Trump’s tariffs a good idea?

My Take

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:08 pm

President Donald Trump recently ordered a 25 percent tariff on imported steel, a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum and tariffs on up to $50 billion in Chinese imports. Some allies and trading partners will be exempt from the steel and aluminum tariffs. Several conservatives, including Gov. Scott Walker, have criticized the president’s tariff plans.

Donald Trump, President


Scott Walker, Governor


Impact on jobs

T: “The United States has an $800 billion yearly trade deficit because of our ‘very stupid’ trade deals and policies. Our jobs and wealth are being given to other countries that have taken advantage of us for years. They laugh at what fools our leaders have been. No more!”

W: “If President Donald Trump wants to protect good-paying, family-supporting jobs in America, especially here in Wisconsin, then he should reconsider the administration’s position on tariffs.”

Anticipated response

T: “The European Union, wonderful countries who treat the U.S. very badly on trade, are complaining about the tariffs on steel and aluminum. If they drop their horrific barriers and tariffs on U.S. products going in, we will likewise drop ours. Big deficit. If not, we tax cars, etc. Fair!”

W: “These tariffs…will not only cause major disruption in the market and drive prices up, it will likely cause layoffs and plant closures, with jobs and operations shifting to other countries.”

How it will play out

T: “When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!”

W: “The goal of the Trump administration, I believe, is to protect American workers. Unfortunately, the practical application here of the tariff on steel and aluminum would lead to jobs being lost in Wisconsin and moved, not to other states, but to other countries.”

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