07/11/2018

Trade Wars Are Bad And America Is Losing This One

Tori Whiting, Washington Times

In March, President Trump said that “trade wars are good and easy to win.” Last week, the trade wars kicked into high gear.

Following the president’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, Canada increased tariffs on U.S. imports worth $12.5 billion a week ago Monday. On Thursday, Mexico slapped tariffs on an additional $3 billion of U.S. goods. China also retaliated against U.S. moves to impose tariffs on an additional $34 billion of Chinese goods.

Proponents of the trade wars try to spin them as an effort to seek freer trade, particularly with China. In reality, however, the administration’s trade policies are backfiring. Tariffs on steel and aluminum act as a tax on American manufacturers that use steel and aluminum to make their products. The 25 percent tariff on steel has increased the domestic price of steel by as much as 40 percent since the beginning of the year. As the result of the new 10 percent tariff on aluminum, prices for that commodity soared to a four-year high in June.

Tariff-driven price increases and the retaliatory measures taken by other countries are already threatening the livelihoods of thousands of factory workers, farmers, and ranchers. And that threat is growing and spreading daily. Here are just a few examples of what the steel and aluminum tariffs have wrought throughout the country.

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