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Poking the bear.

June 11, 2018

Why all the surprise over Canada’s Trudeau and France’s Macron’s attitudes toward tariffs in general and President Trump in particular?

Both of these men were ardently anti-Trump  during their campaigns, kissy-face continental displays notwithstanding.  Trudeau in particular appears to be a self-identified socialist.

So, for him to be critical of Trump’s “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” stand on tariffs is hardly a surprise.

For him to openly do a 180 on what was supposedly agreed upon at the G7 summit however is somewhat surprising.

It has been fairly obvious all along that the President’s strategy is to either eliminate tariffs on both sides, or at the least make them equal.

If we charge a 22% tariff on Canadian newsprint (and we do), then Canada should charge the same 22% on cheese or butter, for instance.

To be fair, even GOP legislators are wondering why he didn’t just lead with that, instead of picking just steel and aluminum as targets.

Tariffs and quotas in  general are meant to keep one nation from dumping something on another nation in such quantities and at such low prices that it destroys an industry in the receiving nation.

The U.S. steel industry collapsed in the 1970s and 80s because of dumping as well as government policies of the times. In other words, long before China became a player. Now, the industry produces about 75% of all the steel we use as it did in its heyday, largely due to recycling rather than raw material refining.

Still, whatever the source of steel and aluminum supplies are today, the President is right about the negative costs of tariffs on U.S. goods and services in general.

Right now, Trump is a bit busy with this North Korean thing.

Trudeau and Co. may find that once he has time to focus again on tariffs and trade, giving the U.S. a giant middle finger may prove to have been unwise.

From → op-ed

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