Trump's Tariffs Are Going To Make Your Food More Expensive

Food prices are rising, and they're likely to soar even more


Soybean growers will be among the hardest hit from Chinese tariffs. Photo credit: Cristina M. Fletes/TNS/Newscom

Food prices are rising. And they're soon likely to soar even more.

The coming spike, which will hurt millions of Americans, didn't have to be. It's due on the one hand to the Trump administration's plans to impose mind-numbingly stupid tariffs on China and other U.S. trade partners and, on the other hand, by retaliatory tariffs imposed by China and others in return.

American food producers, many of which aren't doing particularly well to begin with, are sounding the alarm over the tariffs.

For example, retaliatory tariffs imposed by Canada on U.S. foods and other goods are expected to hurt beleaguered American orange-juice producers and the soup maker Campbell's, which is already struggling with falling sales. In addition to orange juice and soup, the Canadian tariffs single out U.S. chocolate, ketchup, yogurt, beef, coffee, maple syrup, and salad dressings.

Quartz published a list this week of the more than 6,000 Chinese products the Trump administration has slapped with tariffs. I read through the list, which begins with frozen cuts of meat of swine and ends with acetic acid esters. My scrolling fingers cramped well before I could identify anything on the list that isn't a food or agricultural product.

In response, China has targeted "American farm products" with its own retaliatory tariffs. The European Union has also imposed duties on U.S. peanut butter imports, part of a $3.4 billion set of retaliatory tariffs.

The impact of these tariffs on food producers is already being felt. One Seattle distillery that planned to expand its workforce and export its spirits scrapped those plans completely due to the tariffs. North Dakota soybean growers have seen China—the biggest buyer of U.S. soybeans—cancel orders.

Worries over the growing trade war are also evident abroad. In Canada, for example, food retailer Empire is warning it may have to pass tariff-related price increases on to consumers.

Tariffs have a lengthy—if not proud—history. Sugar tariffs are probably the most venerable example in this country of the general suckiness of such policies. In fact, they're as old as this country. One of the first substantive laws Congress passed, in 1789, included sugar-import tariffs. That may or may not have been a good idea at the time. America had just been won a costly war for independence that, I've argued many times, was predicated in large part on battles over food taxation and food restrictions imposed on the colonies by Great Britain.

More recently, Pres. Ronald Reagan held his nose and accepted sugar tariffs as part of a budget deal, leading the N.Y. Times to dub Reagan's capitulation "a self-fired shot in the foot that seems sure to affect not only American consumers and American sugar growers, but foreign producers as well."

I'm firmly of the belief that all tariffs suck. And rising prices only tells part of the story of why that's the case. They cost jobs; hurt domestic and foreign producers, consumers, and taxpayers; put the petty interests of government over those of the public; and are prone to spinning out of control. To paraphrase Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, tariffs are bananas.

Tariffs tend to make almost no one better off and—thanks to the ability of other countries to retaliate—make most everyone worse off. They hurt those who engage in commerce—producers, employers, sellers, consumers, and taxpayers alike—at home and abroad.

Where will these tariffs end? Maybe at the ballot box come fall. One Tennessee farmer who generally votes for GOP candidates says he'll cast his vote this November for a Democrat, since "Trump's trade wars are hurting his family business—a sizable one with some 400 employees and 30,000 pigs."

NEXT: Innocent Until Proven Guilty, But Only If You Can Pay

Tariffs Donald Trump Food Policy

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295 responses to “Trump's Tariffs Are Going To Make Your Food More Expensive

  1. Wouldn’t tariffs actually mean cheaper food prices? Because if US producers can’t sell it overseas, they need to sell it here by lowering the prices.

    Okay, imported stuff will be more expensive, but those foods are more likely to bought by those that can afford expensive stuff to begin with.

    1. “Because if US producers can’t sell it overseas, they need to sell it here by lowering the prices.”

      In the immediate aftermath of tariffs, yes, there will often be a “fire sale” to dump excess supply.

      After that, one or more things will happen:

      A) They go out of business or go bankrupt.

      B) They come hat in hand for taxpayer handouts, welfare for farmers and “too big to fail”.

      C) They cut the pay of their workers, perhaps by smuggling in harder-working illegal humans. And OMG, the Galaxy will collapse if we allow that!!!

      D) They cut production and/or raise prices, to make up for “lost efficiciences of volume”. Most likely they do both. Food-production volumes do not respond rapidly… Think of how long it takes for a fruit tree to grow. So the most likely result is higher prices, if “A”, “B”, and “C” above are to be avoided. There’s no other way to stay in business.

      1. When they raise prices they make more money, and that makes us richer. FDR knee this when he forced farmers to destroy food. That increased prices and made us richer.

        1. Yes, I recall sad tales of Government Almighty thugs showing up on ranches, to shoot all of the excess, not-allowed beef cows. Poor ranchers would sometimes beg to at least be allowed to eat some of the animals that were shot. No go, the animals all had to be buried!

          I do wonder if they sometimes dug some animals up after the thugs left…

        2. Thank Mother Earth for Wickard vs. Filburn! Economic prosperity, and we rape Mother Gaia less by disincentivizing overproduction of food, as defined by our betters in government.

      2. E) Next season they grow food that sells domestically.

        Orange trees keep producing the about the same amount of oranges each year until the trees no longer bear fruit.

        1. If their sunk costs and their operating expenses don’t go down… And I don’t see how tariffs will make them go down… They still have to meet expenses! Unless they can put guns to our heads and make us all drink a lot more orange juice, they will have to dump their excess juice, or feed it to pigs, and then charge us a LOT more, to make up the difference. Or, they produce less. With less production, you get less “efficiency of scale” in your operations.

          Net result: Government Almighty meddling here is going to cost us all lots of money and/or value of goods!!!

          1. They have no choice but to lower prices. The current inventory is ready for market and Americans wont pay higher prices for more supply.

            Why would you buy orange juice that costs more than it does now? Just dont buy it. I dont buy orange juice unless its on sale. I refuse to pay regular price for it. Drink the million other juices out there.

            Of course government meddling costs us money and value of goods. It has been happening before Trump too. Trump at least asked trading partners to end trade restrictions and he would end US trade restrictions. They refused.

            1. Why would you buy orange juice that costs more than it does now? Just dont buy it. I dont buy orange juice unless its on sale. I refuse to pay regular price for it.

              That’s the way I used to roll, too. Then I graduated and got a real job.

              1. Arty, We’re all sure you do very well in your position as Glory Hole attendant.

              2. Rev, getting paid to tell people the news about that Jew who rose from the dead is not a career option for all libertarians.

            2. Then how and why do American producers have a right to foreign markets?
              Ponder that. It is one of the rotten planks underlying your economically illiterate notions.

              1. Of course American producers have a right to foreign markets. They can still sell their crap to China.

                Americans producers do not have a right under the US Constitution to sell without the US government involved. If you want no government, go Anarchy like Zeb and Sarcasmic.

                If you want Free Trade, go Trump. He’s the only president in my lifetime that pushed for Free Trade and it actually would be free trade. NAFTA is not free trade even though its called North American ‘Free Trade’ Agreement.

                1. What you fail to undetsyand, Shirley, is that Trump’s tariffs are evidence of his love of free trade. I mean, that’s why all those Union workers voted for him! They love competition! And there was that one time where Trump talked about it right after insulting or closest allies and trading partners and slapping new tariffs on them! Trump is strong and he knows you negotiate from a position of strength, and there is nothing stronger than an unrepentant asshole that everyone hates. That’s how you get stuff done – posting on someone else’s carpet and rubbing their faces in it. Shows dominance. Plus those guys are socialists and communist dogs. Plus our rights come from the Constitution and you’re a anarchist if you think otherwise.

                2. “Americans producers do not have a right under the US Constitution to sell without the US government involved. If you want no government, go Anarchy like Zeb and Sarcasmic.”

                  Where do you get this idea? Both that the USG must give permission and that rights come from the Constitution?

                  1. “The Constitution for Dummies” ??

            3. Why would you buy orange juice that costs more than it does now? Just dont buy it. I dont buy orange juice unless its on sale. I refuse to pay regular price for it. Drink the million other juices out there

              Right? Who really needs orange juice anyway? Or 13 types of deoderant for that matter?

              1. Oh Lynchpin, you tried and failed like Sarcasmic and Agammamon did.

                You have TDS and want America to be hurt financially.

                1. Aggy, amd most of these other guys don’t give a shit about American industry. The only thing they care about is an extra 5% off at Wal Mart.

            4. Trump at least asked trading partners to end trade restrictions and he would end US trade restrictions. They refused.

              You keep saying this as if it proves your point. It does not. But add some bold text and circular links and your Hihnsformation will be nearly complete.

              1. How does it not? Trump did offer bilateral elimination of all tariffs as a deal. So he is willing to eliminate tariffs. Our trading partners do not.

                You’re siding with the protectionist socialist against our president who is offering free trade.

              2. How does it not? Trump did offer bilateral elimination of all tariffs as a deal. So he is willing to eliminate tariffs. Our trading partners do not.

                You’re siding with the protectionist socialist against our president who is offering free trade.

            5. They have no choice but to lower prices.

              This is economics 101 – when supply exceeds demand producers have to lower prices. This is why you can buy an AMC cheaper than a Ford, why shopping at A+P is so much cheaper than Kroger, why Montgomery Ward undersells Walmart and why Eastern Airlines charges so much less than Delta.

        2. Well, for a commercial orchard, that’s only about 5 years of production and if they can’t sell then the orchards get ripped up to plant something else or sold off.

      3. A) They go out of business or go bankrupt.

        That’s the rooting favorite, because our trading partners deftly targeted Trump-voting people and Trump-supporting communities and industries.

        1. America will be just fine. Congress will subsidize farmers as set up by FDR (A Democrat).

          1. Damn, that’s some fine libertarian, constitution-based thinking, there.

            The solution to government-inflicted wounds is to do more government infliction of wounds. Riiiiight.

            1. -Libertarian part
              Trump offered free market. Our trading partners rejected the offer.

              -Constitution-based thinking
              The Constitution and thereby Congress have authorized the President to negotiate trade deals with foreign nations.

        2. Mexico needs to sell its avocados, Tequila, coffee, etc to the USA.

          Mexico needs its illegals to work fields in the USA and then send money back to Mexico.

          Mexico wont last 6 months.

          1. The Mexicans would paraphrase one of The Matrix’ shitty sequels – ‘There are levels of survival that we are prepared to accept that you are not.’

            1. Uh huh. Sure they would Aggy. They’re not exactly holding all the cards.

            2. The Mexicans would paraphrase one of The Matrix’ shitty sequels – ‘There are levels of survival that we are prepared to accept that you are not.’

              Yeah, because they’re all clearly willing to stay put even as things are now.

      4. Depends on where current production levels lie on the marginal cost curve.


    2. JeremyR, you are correct about lower domestic food prices. Reason continually has people write economic pieces that have zero idea what they are talking about.

      1. You are one of the most economically illiterate commenters here. You ought to read you some Bastiat or Hazlitt. That would be an interesting experience for everyone else here too.

        1. You would think that Scarecrow because your postings about economics are a joke.

          Funny how certain people always try and switch simple economics to Bastiat and Hazlitt, instead of addressing the simplicity of supply and demand.

        2. +1 on the Bastiat.

          I don’t know how any libertarian hasn’t read him.

          However, whatever LC’s ideas on economics, as libertarians are often wont to do, there are some very one dimensional thinkers here too.

          The sky is falling rhetoric irritates me, mostly. Reality says that only an absolute idiot starts a trade war with the US. It is all just politics and posturing. They will eventually capitulate to Trumps demands to open up their economies, pay their share of military expenditure, and stop attacking American companies through egregious regulation and domestic subsidies. They have no choice.

          1. People like Scarecrow throw out the name Bastiat as if that answers some question or solves the US’s problem. They are like first year college students. They know just enough things to make them look like fools and not be dangerous.

            Bastiat never explains how you get totalitarian trading partners to lower their trade restrictions so we can all have free trade.

      2. Competition lowers prices.
        To say nothing of all the food varieties we’ve come to enjoy that are not sourced in the US.
        And the simple matter of ‘out of season’ produce.
        As noted above, read Bastiat, Smith, Ricardo, et. al.

        1. Its supply and demand with government trade restrictions thrown in.

          Yup Iranian limes are probably going up in price.

          Mexican avacados are probably going up in price.

          It can all end today if our trading partners end their trade restrictions today. The USA will be just fine. A bonus is that illegal workers wont get paid much anymore. Bye bye illegals.

          1. Odd. Foreign tariffs do not raise the price of Iranian limes or Mexican avocados.
            American tariffs do.
            Why are you holding Americans hostage to the behavior of foreign governments?
            Trump has demonstrably made things worse for us as a move to make us better off.
            A move with no factual evidence in support of its claimed effectiveness.

            1. Americans have been hostage to foreign trade restrictions for years.

              Trump offered to end all trade restrictions if our trading partners end them. They refused.

              1. That’s not what Trump did. And you know it.

                1. Trump offered universal trade at the G7 conference and you clearly dont know it.

                  1. nope. what was ‘offered’ is for other countries to remove barriers to American products because it ‘wasn’t fair’ to the US and if they didn’t then the US would start a trade war – because trade wars are easy to win.

                    1. Look it up, otherwise you’re just lying. I provided the link to Ken down thread.

                    2. LC is right, and you’re wrong. You’re just so obsessed with bashing Trump you just can’t admit when he’s right.

          2. Again – I’m getting fucked in the drive-through so that someone else can benefit. Everything is more expensive for me so that we can give domestic steel producers higher profit margins.

            1. Why would eat at a fast food restaurant? Its more expensive to buy prepared food than make you own.

              Food has been rapidly going up for a decade. It started with increased the Great Recession and is going up more because of recent minimum wage increases to $15 per hour.

              1. Why would you eat at a fast food restaurant? Its more expensive to buy prepared food than make you own.

                Choice is the road to poverty! Self-sufficiency is the road to wealth!

              2. Its more expensive to buy prepared food than make you own.

                That depends on whether one has enough education and skill — for example, familiarity with standard English, and the apostrophe in particular — to make one’s time valuable.

                I cook, for example, because I enjoy it and can afford the luxury of devoting time to cooking. But at my hourly rate the proper economic decision would be to let someone whose time is worth far less than mine dice those carrots, broil that fish, and emulsify the dressing.

                By the time the market establishes that one’s time is worth even one hundred dollars per hour, cooking is a costly indulgence. I could order from the priciest restaurant in town and profit from it by working while awaiting the delivery.

                Get someone with an education to try to explain this in terms you can understand. Backwater religious schooling and homeschooling do not count.

                1. But at my hourly rate the proper economic decision would be to let someone whose time is worth far less than mine dice those carrots, broil that fish, and emulsify the dressing.

                  You cook when you’re supposed to be working?

                  1. That comments betrays limited experience and understanding.

                    1. It’s certainly done that for you. You are a mental midget. A subnormal progtard. Like Joe Biden, or Patty Murray.

                    2. Be nice, you ignorant and bigoted rube, or I shall instruct my children not to hire your family to tend the lawn, clear the walkways, or detail the vehicles.

                      And then how would you afford the handful of street pills you need to swallow to get through another desolate day in our deplorable, depleted backwaters?

                    3. Arty, you don’t have any children, or any money. Stop lying.

              3. you obviously don’t watch many movies out there in the compoumd so you’re not familiar with American cultural touchstones such as Lethal Weapon 3.

          3. LC, according to most of these clowns only American tariffs are bad. Foreign tariffs are good and foreign trading partners must never be confronted over their practices. Or else Agamemnon might have to pay and extra seventy cents for some shitty item at War-Mart.

            1. “I’ll take ‘Things We Never Said’ for $800.

              1. Libertarians with no policy solutions besides stick our heads in the sand. Sounds like our foreign policy, and why we have never gone mainstream as an ideology.

                So sure, you may not have said it outright, but the outcomes are the same.

                1. I support negotiated trade deals that make trade easier and cheaper, even if it isn’t idealistic free trade (though I wish we could get to true free trade!). I don’t support tariffs and trade restrictions that make trade harder and more expensive.

                  1. Well Lynchpin, Trump’s in charge for 8 years and he is trying to pressure our trading partners to lower trade restrictions.

                    You people never offer concrete solutions on how to get Commie China and Socialist Europe to suddenly lower their trade restrictions because the USA asks nicely.

                  2. Well what else do you do when we have really shitty one sided trade deals with trade partners that won’t budge? Feel free to disagree with Trumo, but at least he’s actually doing something to improve things.

                    God forbid anyone has to bleed a little to make things better.

              2. Actually, Aggy has said that before. He has said several times that he is ok with entire domestic industries being crushed if it means he doesn’t have to pay more for cheap goods.

                1. Libertarians should be partly supportive of ending trade restrictions because companies like Google have cut free speech in Communist China and Socialist Europe to be allowed to operate there.

                  This ‘trade war’ is not just about economics. Communist China and Socialist Europe are using American business to further their authoritarian regimes.

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  2. Trump’s an idiot who doesn’t understand economics, but that just makes him like every other politician. When have any of them preached actual free trade?

    I also have to lay some of blame on these other countries’ retaliatory moves. As Reason has pointed out, trade restrictions always hurt the folks at home, no matter who they’re aimed at. So “fighting” the US by imposing tariffs on imports from there just hurts the Chinese or Canadian consumers.

    It’s as if you catch a guy slashing your car’s tires and you “get back at him” by breaking your own car’s windows. It’s more proof that government officials everywhere are morons. Trump is more typical than most people want to admit.

    1. The USA has been in a trade war for decades.

      Trump offered to trading partners that the USA would end trade restrictions if they ended their trade restrictions. They refused.

      1. He couldn’t have delivered on his promise as made.
        He could have declined to impose the new tariffs he did, in fact, impose.
        His trade ‘war’ is harming us. Piss-poor negotiating tactic.

        1. They refused. Why would the USA lower all trade restrictions to our trading partners and they get to keep their trade restrictions.

          That would be piss poor negotiating. You never give something for nothing like Obama did.

          1. Why wouldn’t we?
            No producer has a right to customers.
            No US producer has a right to trade in foreign nations. Nice for them if they can,m but note well: they are not us. They are a minuscule subset of ‘us’.
            We benefit directly from cheaper goods.
            Unilateral free trade has been shown to work.
            Tariff ‘wars’ have not.

            1. That’s not what I said, you fucking liar.

              1. That’s exactly what you said upthread – where US producers *have a Constitutional right* to foreign markets.

                1. No I didnt. I said “right” not “constitutional right”. Big difference.

                  The government also has the “power” to regulate interstate and international trade.

                  1. you claimed this right comes from the Constitution.

                    1. Another one of your lies.

          2. Because that would massively benefit all American consumers? While his current policy harms all American consumers while benefiting a small portion of American Producers?

            1. Free trade would massively benefit American producers and customers. It would also hurt some Americans producers.

              1. yeah. no shit. free trade is the default state of the universe – it takes human intervention to move away from that state.

                so why are we protecting a different minority?

                1. Because you dont live in Anarchy-Land?

          3. Why are tariffs unfair? When a government institutes a tariff on an import, this interferes with the basic property right of the import consumer and the exporter to alienate their properties. That’s the only way I can make sense of the claim that tariffs are unfair.
            So, yes, I agree that tariffs are unfair. But if the tariff on U.S. exporters goods is a violation of the rights of the foreign import consumer and the U.S. exporter, then a reciprocal tariff is likewise a violation of the rights of the U.S. import consumer and the foreign exporter.
            Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  3. The best cherry season of my life. They just dropped to 99 cents a pound.

    1. Dude I just noticed that. I thought the cherries were skanky couldn’t believe the price but now that I know the score it’s on.

  4. Stupid libertarians don’t get it. As lc1789 or John will tell you, tariffs are wonderful. They hamper competition which increases demand for goods produced at home. As we all know, the purpose of the economy is jobs and production. The more we restrict imports, the more we must produce ourselves. This creates jobs, and jobs are what creates prosperity. This stupid idea that consumption is the purpose of the economy ignore that you can’t consume if you aren’t getting paid. Competition, be it from foreign imports or immigrant labor, costs jobs. That means that people don’t have money to buy stuff.
    So the goal should be jobs, jobs, jobs. The less efficient we are the better. The less competition the better. Keep everyone employed and we will all be richer.


    1. “So the goal should be jobs, jobs, jobs.”

      Yes, this is correct, BUT, only jobs for LEGAL humans! Jobs for legal humans, GOOD! Jobs for illegal humans, BAD!!!

      1. Illegals aren’t even human. They are illegal. That is why their families should be forcefully broken up. To punish them like the animals that they are. Green cards make them human. Without a government permission slip they are animals and should be treated as such. I know this because John and lc1789 said so.

        1. They should know. They are some wise guys, after all, and spend so much time writing comments on subjects peripheral to their expertise. No one who writes as much as they could be less than wise, and it makes you wish you could read their posts on astrophysics, for instance, or the intricacies of different quilting tools, subjects which are no doubt even more peripheral to their main interests, and thus even more erudite on.

        2. Trump is getting rid of illegals working in the USA and pushing back against the trade war going on for decades.


          1. I see, like Hitler and Stalin pushing back against each other, except they are shooting their own soldiers.

            I wonder which one is Trump, and which side you are on.

            1. Scarecrow, you’re really bad at hyperbole.

    2. That is why we should destroy the machines that increase manufacturing output. We might be at an all time high in manufacturing production, but we are at an all time low in manufacturing employment. Destroying the machines will create jobs which will make us rich!

    3. Bad news for Cesar Chavez.

      “The theory and evidence we discuss here contradicts a long literature claiming, largely without
      quantitative evidence, that bracero exclusion succeeded as active labor market policy. We
      find that bracero exclusion failed to raise wages or substantially raise employment for domestic
      workers in the sector.”-Immigration Restrictions as Active LaborMarket Policy: Evidence from the
      Mexican Bracero Exclusion

      1. It will be different with Republicans in charge.

        1. It will be Anarchy-land with Sarcasmic in charge.

          1. You really would be lost without powerful leaders, wouldn’t you?
            A finer collectivistic there never was.

            1. Anarchy is your thing then.

              America is at the mercy of Communists and Socialist out to destroy us without fighting for free trade and our freedoms. Trump is trying to change that.

              I am on board. 6 months to a year to try and get to a better US trade position.

    4. Goddamit, sarc, YOU don’t get it. Trump is FOR free trade! But he has to make trade less free to make it more free. This is a principle that goes back to St. Augustine: doing evil to achieve a good outcome is actually doing good. So stop TDSing, and let Trump make your life better.

    5. Trade restrictions are not wonderful.

      Someone who is not an Nanarchist like you would know that.

      Its very telling that you and other TDS folks cannot explain how the USA is supposed to go from managed trade that we had before Trump to free trade, when our trading partners refuse to take Trump up on his free trade offer.

      We wont be richer because foreign nations pay us less for US exports and we pay more for foreign exports. Because they refused Trump’s offer of free trade, we now will pay more for foreign exports and get even less for US exports.


      1. We’re supposed to “go to free trade” by punishing consumers with tarfiffs!


        1. The US could have gone free trade if our trading partners ended their trade restrictions. They refused.

          The USA is the best market in the World. We have been in a trade war and been punished with foreign tariffs for decades.

          You were fine with that, I guess.

          1. They just don’t want to pay more.at Wal Mart. Beyond that, they don’t give a shit about anything.

      2. We have, in fact, explained it to you.
        Reduce or eliminate all tariffs and trade restrictions. Above all stop imposing new ones! Unilateral free trade is better than mutual trade restrictions. Bilateral free trade is best, but imposing more trade restrictions has never, in and of itself, led to a reduction in trade restrictions. Or do you have some facts you’d can cite that will support your ignorant and obtuse fantasies?
        Show us an example, an actual concrete case, where your fantasy has worked,
        Even Mitch McConrll knows better.

        1. You want Mitch McConnell on your side? Good luck with that clown.

          It has been explained to you over and over but you people ignore that Trump already offered an end to US trade restrictions if our trading partners ended their trade restrictions. They refused.

          What Trump is doing has never been tried in over 100 years. Its why numerous non-Libertarians on here are kicking and screaming about it. They should know that other countries will cave before the USA has to.

          Worse case is that the USA only gets our trading partners to lower their trade restrictions by 1% pre-Trump. That means that Trump was successful in getting trade restrictions lowered by 1%.

          Free trade is better than managed trade. Trump offered free trade and our trading partners refused.

          1. Are you going to reject arithmetic just because McConell thinks 2+2=4?

            Show us an example of this “strategy” working. An actual factual concrete real-world example.

            Trump’s offer was dishonest as he does not have the authority to reduce all tariffs to zero. It was a rhetorical ploy, not an offer.
            But never forget ? Trump did raise the tariffs he could, making things worse, not better, even on the grounds of his rhetorical ploy.

            1. You can have McConnell on your side if you want. That dude is a clown and horrible at anything economic. He got the Senate to pass a sweeping budget that spends more than taking in.

              You have TDS, so you automatically think Trump would not lower US trade restrictions to zero. You cannot prove that he wouldn’t. Plus the Senate would have to consent.

              Its a better strategy to try and lower trade restrictions to zero than just say that Trump wouldn’t do it.

              Trump cares more about America that you will ever give him credit for. The evidence is that he offered to end US trade restrictions and our trading partners refused.

          2. What part of ‘unilateral’ do you not understand?

            Or am I to start a trade war with my grocery store? They don’t buy anything from me after all?

            1. The part where he redefine s terms and ignores history.

            2. Grocery stores dont do managed trade with YOU.

              Grocery stores set prices based on business choices and market indicators that all customers or lack of customers provide.

              1. Grocery stores dont do managed trade with YOU

                Sure they do. We are both subject to local, state, and federal laws, regulations, and taxes. Some of which hurt both of us.

                Grocery stores set prices based on business choices and market indicators that all customers or lack of customers provide

                … Just like international trading partners.

                So it really is the same except that there is an extra layer of government that can regulate and tax, often to the detriment of the buyers and sellers. Just like Trump is doing now.

              2. yes they do. they have a specific policy of not trading with me. they won’t buy what I am selling.

                1. I guess you shop at a store different than mine where you haggle over every product the grocery store sells.

                  I am not that elite. I see what the price is marked as and either pay that or not. Sometimes they get me in with sale prices.

          3. Not a fan of the turtle, but he’s right on tariffs. As to whether it’s been tried in the last 100 years, the answer is yes, and it wasn’t pretty. Google “Smoot Hawley” to find out how well tariffs worked 88 years ago.

            1. Anything out of McConnell’s mouth is to be taken with a grain of salt. He is responsible for putting the USA in more and more debt each year.

              Fuck McConnell.

              1. Trump signed the Omnibus and defense bills. He is responsible for putting the USA in more and more debt each year.

                1. Congress hold the strings to the purse but absolutely the president can veto the spending bills.

                  Of course, the media would blame Trump for cutting spending and shutting down the government.

      3. We’ve explained – you simply get the government out of ‘managing’ ‘trade deals’. That’s it. Remove tariffs. Remove import and export restrictions. Bam. Done.

        But that scares the shit out of you – no ‘Top Man’ giving permission. I do wonder why you bother here. You’re not a libertarian. You’re certainly not a ‘Washington Coctail Party Seeking Libertarian in the mold of Reason’s staff’. So what draws you here? 90% of what Reason posts on is anathema to you. You consider it flat out wrong and dangerously naive.

        So why are you here? Is it your hubris that you’ll save us from ourselves? That you’ll be the voice of reason (heh) shouting in the desert?

        1. Trump offered to end US trade restrictions with trading partners. They refused.

          Why would we give Commies in China and Socialists in the EU unfettered access to the best market in the World while Americans have to pay more for their goods because of non-USA trade restrictions?

          Freedom isnt free and sometimes you have to fight for free trade.

          1. Americans pay more for foreign products because of American tariffs, not foreign tariffs.

            foreign governments subsidizing production gets us *cheaper* goods at the expense of their own citizens.

            1. Americans pay more for foreign goods because foreign nations charge above market price to subsidize their goods and services. They get more from Americans to pay for Communism and to pay for welfare in Europe.

              You dont want to see the higher-than-market prices of foreign products.

  5. I don’t eat tofu man.

  6. The longer term problem is that if prices on basics go up, the economy will be perceived* to be in trouble because of Trump and “‘free’ trade.”
    This will give the dems, especially the more socialist end, a strong boost and damage the goals we all support.

    *we don’t need to argue the accuracy or truth/falsehood of the perception. Feelings drive votes, and price increases on basics pinch hard, regardless of the whys and wherefores.
    With Trump responsible for most of the new tariffs, the right will take a hit.

    1. Trump offered trading partners a deal that the USA would end trade restrictions if they ended trade restrictions. They refused the offer.

      1. That’s total horse shit! NAFTA was in place and working well for decades, and Trump demonized it, violated it,tore it down!

        1. NAFTA was a trade war. lc1789 said so.

          1. Anything but free trade is a trade war.

            NAFTA was managed trade.

            I think it hilarious that an Nanarchist is so interested in having NAFTA in place.

            1. A trade war is tit for tat you tool.

              1. We have been tit for tat for decades then.

                Trump offered to end US trade restrictions if our trading partners ended their trade restrictions. They refused.

                Keep ignoring that you tool.

            2. Bullshit.

              Unilateral free trade is the second-best hand in the deck, it’s the only one we can get, and it works. Bilateral free trade would be only slightly better, and we can’t get there by raising rather than lowering, tariffs and trade restrictions.

              1. We disagree on how to get to free trade.

                You people cant just say that. You cant say that you see why Trump is doing what he is doing but you think its wont work.

                I am willing to give Trump 6 months to a year to pressure trade partners to lower trade restrictions. It probably wont work. Then we just go back to pre-Trump trade restrictions levels.

                Bilateral free trade is far better. It means Americans have a better chance to export goods and make money. It also means that Americans have a better chance to buy products and services cheaper in the USA.

                1. Ridiculous. The evidence is clear that many more are harmed by the tariffs than benefit. It’s been presented wholesale on this blog and in the comments.
                  You have no evidence that this mercantilist, zero-sum “strategy” has ever worked as you claim it will.
                  We have evidence that unilateral free trade is better than a regime of tariffs and trade restrictions.
                  Because you’re caught in a 16th century mindset, you refuse to even consider the possibility that your leader is, in these matters, an ignorant destructive fool.
                  I have considered your position, and reject on its total lack of merit.
                  Your TDS is strong.

                  1. TDS is when Trump doing something overrides all other logic. You have that.

                    Trump getting the USA to bilateral free trade would be something you would never give him credit for.

                    Unilateral free trade is not better than universal free trade. All trading partners having zero trade restrictions and getting trade restrictions.

              2. Unilateral disarmament is the second best hand in the deck. Bilateral disarmament would be only slightly better.

                1. Exactly, Nardz. They call this a “Trade War” but then don’t want the USA to fight the war to win.

              3. Unilateral free trade is not the second best hand in the deck. It doesn’t make any logical sense. Markets can be manipulated, and turning a blind eye to it is suicidal, not the second best hand in the deck. We manipulate markets all the time with sanctions, and look what it does. Do you think Iran would be fine and dandy if it just had unilateral free trade?

                You need to have deterrents to market distortions. Trump is the first president to try economic leverage rather than shoving our military up their asses. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t, but to me, it is worth the shot. If he pulls it off, he will be responsible for more human progress than anyone in recent history.

                1. Some of these goobers just want America to fail.

                  As you point out, Trump is using leverage over military force. Trump is trying that with China and North Korea. Its worth trying. I hope it works.

                  I get the impression that its working a little bit because the foreign trolls are clearly working over time to sabotage sink support for Trump.

          2. Agreements between consenting parties are warfare. The only difference between a mutually-acceptable contract and a shooting war is the guns.

            1. Nice joke.

              1. Yeah, laughable logic, ain’t it?

                1. Whoooossssshhhh as it goes over lc’s head.

                  1. Nice joke.

  7. Why would domestic food prices of food go up if American farmers cannot sell their food overseas? Unless the US government is setting prices and participating in price fixing.

    If US farmers cannot sell their current food stocks, they will lower prices on currently available food to sell as much food as they can. They have massive additional supply. Prices will go down.

    It would make no sense for farmers to raise prices while their supply is high and their demand goes down. Less people would buy their particular food because prices are too high.

    Farmers will then not grow food that they cannot sell for their next growing season.

    Reason really needs to get people who know something about economics when an article about economics is written.

    1. You need to focus on the unseen and the consequences. Read yourself some Bastiat and Hazlitt, even if you do have to move your lips.

      1. Unseen witchcraft?

        Everything that is done in life has consequences.

        Economics is not that hard.

        Refute what I am saying or provide some concrete plans for getting the USA into free trade. Trump had a concrete plan to move the USA into free trade territory and our trading partners refused.

        The media refuses to hit home on that point. Instead they blame Trump because they think that will help election 2018 for the Democrats. It wont. Domestic food prices will go down as farmers sell off inventory. Congress will bail out farmers.

        1. Ah yes. The old “You can’t criticize me unless you have a better idea! That means I’m right! Neener neener neener!” response.

          1. So no concrete plan to get the USA toward free trade?

            Yeah, Sarcasmic is as bad as Tony.

            1. We’ve told you the plan.
              Reduce and eliminate all trade restrictions and tariffs.
              It works.
              Singapore, Hong Kong, Britain’s elimination of the Corn Laws are examples you e been given, have ignored, and yet all led to enrichment. They don’t support your fantasies so you ignore them. Nor do you provide concrete examples of your “strategy” working. Why is that?

              We have examples.
              You have igjnorant and uninformed fantasies.

              1. Well luckily, Trump was voted in and your Fuck America fantasies are not being played out.

                All trading partners can end this today by ending trade restrictions.

                The USA will be just fine. Commie China and Socialist EU will not be fine.

                1. Non-responsive.
                  As we’ve come to expect.

                  1. Yup. You and Sarcasmic You (as in the same person) refuse to provide concrete plans to move the US to free trade.

                    1. Liar.
                      Provided here and elsewhere on this site.

                      Note that the president does not have sole authority or control over tariffs and trade restrictions.he does have control over. Some. It is positively Orwellian to suggest that increasing tariffs and trade restrictions makes trade free-er in any sense.
                      You cannot provide an actual concrete real world example of this mercantilist nonsense moving the world to one of fewer and lower trade restrictions and tariffs.

                    2. That machine for moving the goal posts is really working for you.

                      The Executive absolutely has authority to negotiate trade policy for the USA because of Congress and the US Constitution. I know you dont like it but your arguments just keep getting shredded, so you need something different.


        2. What you are saying has been refuted a thousand times. Your only response is to shout “Nanarchist!” or “2017!” or “You have no plan!”

          Tony is more thoughtful than you.

          1. You’re a Nanarchist. You should shout it from the mountaintops.

            1. Ad hominem noted.

              1. Your ad hominem noted for another person.

                1. Good lord you’re stupid. You don’t even know what ad hominem means or what the fallacy involves.
                  ‘Ad hominem for another person.’ smdh

                  1. Oh poor Shirley and Sarcasmic switching to name calling.

                    Enjoy many more years of Trump MAGA.

        3. 2 things

          1. Smoot Hawley. As in the history we are doomed to repeat as Trump has probably never heard of it.

          2. A more likely outcome is that the remaining small farmers will lose their farms to the conglomerates, who will then be free to raise prices due to a lack of competition. Jokes on us, because when the tariffs are dropped (unilaterally or bilaterally), the conglomerates will retain their price structure, to the benefit of the stockholders.

        4. 2 things

          1. Smoot Hawley. As in the history we are doomed to repeat as Trump has probably never heard of it.

          2. A more likely outcome is that the remaining small farmers will lose their farms to the conglomerates, who will then be free to raise prices due to a lack of competition. Jokes on us, because when the tariffs are dropped (unilaterally or bilaterally), the conglomerates will retain their price structure, to the benefit of the stockholders.

          1. 1. Trump has proven himself very adept at listening to advice from knowledgeable people.

            2. Small farmers have been losing their farms or voluntarily selling to big food companies for decades.

      2. lc1789 doesn’t need to read a thing. He know it all.

        1. Nanarchists sure know it all.

          Except they dont want government. Sarcasmic wants NAFTA though, so there’s that.

          1. Thank you for confirming everything I said.

            You have no arguments. Just straw men and ad hominems.

            1. Sarcasmic is all strawmen. He even likes to jump into conversations with nothing but nonsense.

              He has zero intent to to answer how the USA can move from managed trade pre-Trump to free trade.

              1. Liar.

                1. WAY to stick up for Sarcasmic who is NOT you.

                  1. It’s sad how you never ever engage on the merits, preferring instead to impute thoughts, desires, motives, and now identity to others.
                    I guess it’s all you’ve got. No evidence, just theses that are demonstrably incoherent, ill-formed, unsupported by solid theory or concrete factual cases.

                    It should be clear to even the casual observer that sarcasmic and I are distinct persons.

                    1. Keep refusing to answer the question about how the USA will move to bilateral trade without pressure?

                    2. It. Does. Not. Matter. Whether or not the USA moves to bilateral free trade. Unilateral free trade is good for us, and bilateral free trade is only slightly better. Sarc and Shirley have beaten you up all morning on this, and you have no answer to their arguments other than chanting your mantra, “Trump’s trade war will get us to free trade!” If tariffs and trade restrictions are ended, America will benefit. Maybe some day other countries will see the evidence that tariffs only hurt their own people and end them as well. Or not. Who cares?

                    3. Americans care. Which is why Trump won. Which is why Trump wants to beat China and the EU into submission via an expanded trade war started decades before him.

                      He is in it to win it.

    2. “Farmers will then not grow food that they cannot sell for their next growing season.”

      Well, I’m glad that you at least understand THAT much about economics!!!

      So if tariffs are such a great thing, why don’t we set up tariffs at the entrances of each city in the USA? Maybe each county as well? Tariff the shit out of ourselves, as a way to prosperity? Tariffs are taxes, you know; you think taxes are the route to prosperity?

      Well anyway, after the USA comes to its senses, and ditches all these excess tariffs (and maybe ditch Trump as well… We can always hope), the farmers will ***NOT*** be instantaneously be able to grow new fruit trees to go back to sensible, efficient, high-volume operation with worldwide customers!!! Agriculture has LONG-LONG lead times, in many cases!!! We will suffer a LONG “Trump hangover” for our sins here, if the Congress will NOT get off of its lazy ass and fix this, QUICKLY!!!

    3. Farmers will then not grow food that they cannot sell for a price that covers costs their next growing season.

      Fixed. If you planned to sell to buyers in multiple countries and are suddenly limited to just one, and you have a huge glut of extra product that you have to sell at a reduced price so it won’t rot and be worthless, you’re not going to plan to grow as much the following year. And if you won’t grow as much you won’t need as many employees.

      1. You can grow other crops that do have high demand and then you might be able to keep the same number of employees.

        Most farmer employees are illegals for harvest season. You people don’t even see that Trump is going after two problems. Our trading partners refusing to lower their trade restrictions and illegals having field jobs.

        1. no they are not. most harvest company workers are americans or here on work visas. at least here in Yuma – you know, right next to the border. maybe all the illegals are working farms deeper into the interior.

          1. As a farmer, I can tell you exactly who my neighbors hire.

            Many are illegals. Some are Americans.

            1. why aren’t you reporting your neighbors? they’re breaking the law.

              1. Who is saying that I dont report them?

                Unlike you, I want America to do well. You don’t.

        2. You can grow other crops that do have high demand and then you might be able to keep the same number of employees.

          If those “other crops” have a higher demand than the stuff previously being grown and sold to foreign markets, farmers would have been doing that already, no?

          If those “other crops” have a lower demand than the stuff previously being grown and sold to foreign markets, then they can look forward to making less money next year than in previous years, so it would probably be stupid to keep the same number of employees.

          I fail to see the problem in “illegals having field jobs.” If I was making money with my illegals in field jobs before, I sure won’t make as much paying snowflakes a “living wage” to support their degrees in puppetry and genderqueer art history.

          1. The USDA set quotas for food. You didnt know that?

          2. “…paying snowflakes a “living wage” to support their degrees in puppetry and genderqueer art history.”

            Holy Government Almighty, I ***LIKE*** these lines!!!! It is like poetry unto mine ears!!!!

  8. In the 20th century, why did Germany keep invading France, Poland, and Ukraine? Because Germany is a highly industrialized country with inadequate farm land to feed itself and things have been that way for a long time. Now the Germans could trade with its neighbors for the food it needed but that caused arguments about the terms of trade, much like we have today. Germans brooded over all this, enviously saying things like “As rich as God in France.” That referred to food. Germans love to eat.

    By 1914 the war started, despite the monarchies of all involved being interbred to the glittering sword hilt. Britain blockaded Germany so that food couldn’t come by sea and even German fishing was hindered. The Germans responded in kind by blockading the British Isles with submarines like U-20 and commerce raiders that were basically modern pirate ships, like the fast ocean liner SS Berlin.

    England is also very short on farm land. Soon both German and British populations endured strict food rationing. German soldiers from 1916 to the surrender sent care packages HOME from the front so that their families would not starve.

    U-20 with a miraculous torpedo shot sunk the Lusitania. Miracles can have consequences (1) USA came in to beat Germany (2) in the reparations rip-off that they called peace, the SS Berlin was given to England to make up for the Lusitania. It was renamed the Arabic and began hauling beef from Argentina to Britain.

  9. As a short term matter, foreign tariffs on American food exports will lower American food prices, since the export restrictions will increase domestic supply. In the long term, of course, it will decrease supply and increase prices. And US tariffs on food imports will raise prices on their own, plus decrease supply which will further raise prices, and decrease competition, which will further increase domestic prices.

    1. Farmer’s will likely still sell food in markets where there is already aggregate demand. The idea that they will necessarily have to dump the excess supply domestically ignores price elasticity of demand.

      Staple foods almost always tend to be inelastic, meaning changes in price have lower effects on demand. The same can be said of raw materials like steel and aluminum at least in the short term. The authors of these tariffs know this, which is why they’ve chosen the bundle of goods to be taxed so carefully.

      The difference is that food is or can be consumed directly by the end consumer where steel usually can’t. So the ripple effect into consumer goods is much less for food than it is for steel.

  10. Tariffs are targeted welfare payments. It’s so fascinating watching Republican voters begging for welfare considering the way they otherwise talk about welfare. It all comes full circle.

    1. Tariffs are trade restrictions. Trump offered our trading partners to end trade restrictions if they end their trade restrictions. They refused.

      Keep up the Lefty Narrative though. Nobody can see you for what you are.

      1. Ending restrictions wouldn’t help the Louisiana Shrimper Association. They want restrictions. For those partisans it isn’t about using tariffs to end tariffs as you say. They want tariffs because they can’t compete with foreign industry.

        1. Bingo.

        2. So your argument is that Louisiana Shrimpers Association are a puppet master of Trump like the Rooskies?

          Maybe someday you will provide evidence that Trump is dictating his trade plan after running it by Louisiana shrimpers.

          1. I’m saying Louisiana Shrimpers have heretofore been unsuccessful lobbying the Trump administration to enact a shrimp tariff so they intend through their elected representative Senator John Kennedy to introduce a bill to require “health inspections” of imported with the goal of raising the price of imported shrimp so that more Louisiana shrimpers can stay in business.

            1. Go home back to North Korea Lefty.

            2. See lc, that’s how it’s done.

              1. That’s Horjny Lizard’s response, not your little outburst.

                1. No shit Sarcasmic Knott.

                  Clean the TDS out of your ears and see that I was responding to Lizard Jung-Un.

      2. Trump offered to end trade restrictions, and they refused. So now he’s punishing Americans by taxing stuff they import. Makes sense…

        Let me ask you this… Do Americans as a collective engage in trade? Can trade be “unfair” if both parties agree to it?

        1. Oh Leo, you are free to win the presidency and negotiate for the USA trade policy.

          I am sure the Communist Party in China will negotiate with Leo Kovalensky II. Good luck. Let us know how that turns out.

          1. So it is a collective trade then? I can’t tell from your answer.

            Why does Trump have to negotiate for anything? Why can’t individuals engage in trade without the government help? And don’t tell me because it’s in the Constitution, because that doesn’t necessarily make it a good policy.

            1. Sorry that you cannot read. I can get you a tutor.

              Libertarians support rule of law under the Constitution.

              It sounds like you want anarchy. Sarcasmic is into that. Not sure how you two can function in a voluntary society when you both cannot read.

              1. Libertarians recognize that the Constitution isn’t infallible. Government really has no place in managing commerce between willing trade partners despite what the Constitution says.

                It seems that I’m having as much trouble reading as you are answering questions. So, I guess a yes or no answer would remedy that. Do you believe that Americans engage in trade as a collective? Because I happen to believe that individuals trade and there is no collective trade among all Americans vs China, for instance.

                1. Leo, you want anarchy then. The US gov should set a low trade restriction trade policy and leave us alone.

                  Trump offered that and our trading partners refused. Not sure communists and socialists are just going to help America for no reason.

  11. Ya’ll don’t know this but Sen. John Kennedy (R) in coordination with Lt. Gov Billy Nungesser (R) of Louisiana intend to introduce federal legislation to target foreign shrimp industries in China, India and Vietnam with a “health inspection” fee. They hope the inspection fee will raise the price of shrimp so that more Louisiana shrimpers can stay in business. It’s staight up welfare and these are Republicans.

    1. Crony capitalism by RiNOs. Big surprise.

  12. Trump’s Tariffs Are Going To Make Your Food More Expensive

    If this costs some Trump-supporting farmers and communities their jobs and businesses . . . well, sometimes things that are worth having have a cost. And educated, accomplished people are willing to pay the price.

    1. “And educated, accomplished people are willing to pay the price.”

      You’d be the last to know, asshole.

      1. That’s quite a retort, Sevo. Your homeschooling mom must have been a real prize.

  13. The idea that Chinese tariffs on U.S. agriculture will make American produce more expensive for American consumers seems counterintuitive. In logical terms, seems like we’re stealing a couple of bases on that slippery slope. I agree with that the ultimate assessment, basically, but we should be clear about how and why prices are likely to increase as the quantity demanded softens overseas and quantity supplied increases in the U.S. Those conditions wouldn’t normally be associated with higher prices–especially not when wage growth is high.

    There’s this thing called the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). It’s part of the Department of Agriculture. Their job is to provide nonrecourse “loans” (nonrecourse means farmers don’t need to repay it) in exchange for selling their crops to the CCC and planting less in the future. The CCC then sells that produce for a loss . . . if prices aren’t too low. The CCC loses around $17 billion a year already. As prices plummet–in response to tariffs–we can expect the CCC to get more involved than they have been in a long time. Within its operations, the CCC can set a floor on prices, restrict supplies, and that will ultimately mean higher prices.

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C…..orporation

      I don’t see any good reason to think this won’t play out like it has so many other times since the CCC was created during the Great Depression. We just haven’t heard much about the CCC since China joined the WTO because demand for produce from a billion former Chinese peasants turning into hungry consumers has put so much upward pressure on prices over the last 17 years.

  14. Bought some aluminum foil the other day. Used to be about $7.99 for 200 sq ft. Now it’s $9.99. Thanks, Trump.

    1. Try non-brand name aluminum foil.

      Thanks Loveconstitution1789.

      1. Aluminum is a ***commodity***, Trumpista*


        1. Oh dumbdumb. The price of brand name aluminum foil is more than non-name brand foil.

          That’s because the commodity price of aluminum is far lower than market price of aluminum foil.

          What else you got?

          1. you are saying that branded aluminum foil price has increased . . . just because?

            1. What? You don’t know how pricing works or the cost basis difference between brand name products and off-brand products?

              1. Wow. I mean, wow.

                1. Yeah. You people are pretty dumb.

      2. Try non-brand name aluminum foil.

        No one really *needs* two brands of aluminum foil to choose from.

        1. Which brands do we need commie?

  15. What I’ve not seen mentioned is this: When nations are heavily dependent on each other (for trade or “whatever”), they have a LOT more to lose, if they start a shooting war! Hence this fascination by militaristic nations, with “independence”? To witness, North Korea and “juche” (economic independence). So BRING ON the free trade; it militates against militarism! Trade wars ARE related to shooting wars, and I worry the the DrumfenFuhrer is taking us to August 2018 = August 1914? Stubborn pride and foolishness, leading to an utterly senseless shooting war!

  16. ‘ “tit for tat” “game theory” forgiveness ‘? makes a good Google search string; results include this: http://www.psychologytoday.com…..es-tit-tat … It turns out that Jesus H. Christ was correct, and modern science now validates it, that “forgiveness” is a way-vitally important element of good strategy and good results! So I do not give one flying hoot about who started the trade war; it needs to STOP!!! At the VERY least, we need to stop trying to put the fire out with gasoline!
    Politicians aren’t usually known to have much decency, common sense, morality, or ethics. So now that the trade wars have started, NONE of them (here or abroad) are very likely to say “let’s forgive”, or, “we’ll take down our trade barriers first, and trust you to do the same, later”. They are almost all evil bastards, who cannot or will not recognize the wisdom of Jesus H. Christ, as has now been validated by science. They are more into pride, boasting, “winning”, and posturing, than they are about looking out for the common good.
    And that goes doubly-tripled for Der DumpfenFuhrer!

  17. And finally, this is especially for LC1789? Please note that the founding fathers had the wisdom to add the “Interstate Commerce” clause, early on, to prevent trade wars between the states? For the common good. And they didn’t act like grade-school kids, arguing about “he started it”! They just forgave, and moved on. Were they stupid? Shall we re-start the trade wars between states; will THAT make us all rich? Is the US Constitution WRONG here?
    The spoiled-brat states had to be hauled up and whacked by bigger-government, meaning the feds. THAT is how the trade war was stopped! So by extension, we should be supporting international agencies to haul us stupid nationalistic, jingoistic duh-heads up, and whacking us a few times, for the greater good!
    Oh, but Americans Good; furriners BAD, will be the response of those who are full of false, destructive pride. I have never heard God or karma or the Universe or Momma Nature or evolution or ANYONE with REAL moral authority, tell me that Americas are created superior!

  18. Without fail, the resident Trumpistas don’t waste time showcasing their incompetence when it comes to basic economics. Now they argue that retaliatory tatiffs are no big deal because they will mean ***lower prices*** because producers will have to unload their unsold products into the domestic market. This, at the same time these same producers offer the higher wages (somehow) that the president and his merry band of charlatans promised the Trumpista folk, as of by magic. There is onlt one theme consistent anong Trumpistas and that is their incredible ignorance and their willingness to make up the least credible claptrap to justify the unjustifiable.

  19. Trump offered trading partners that the US would end trade restrictions if they ended trade restrictions. They refused.

    1. Do you have a link for that?

      1. “No tariffs, no barriers, that’s the way it should be,” Trump said. “And no subsides, I even said not tariffs.”
        Trump free trade statements at G7 summit

        “That’s the way it should be ? no tariffs, no barriers,” he said at a press conference in Charlevoix, Quebec, before departing the annual gathering of the world’s largest industrial democracies.
        NY Post- G7 Summit and Trump’s free trade statements

        1. That’s what he SAID, but what did he DO!? Besides pour gasoline on the fire, that is…

          1. I guess we’ll never know.

            Oh wait, we can. All US trading partners end trade restrictions and see if the USA does the same. Commie China and Socialist Europe can always go back to massive trade restrictions.

            1. Yes, the “tit for tat” game ends ugly for EVERYONE if everyone insists that “you play nice before I play nice”. See my post in detail about that, containing search string “It turns out that Jesus H. Christ was correct, and modern science now validates it, that “forgiveness” is a way-vitally important element of good strategy and good results!”

              1. I know this blows you people’s little TDS out of the water but that has been the trend since Jan 20, 2017.

                G7 members refused to end trade restrictions as Trump offered. All your nonsense trying to change that is like trying to get Hillary in the White House as president.

    2. You could just link to a pic of you grooming Trump’s genitals like a cat and save us all the reading.

      1. Yes, pictures please!

        But maybe not… It could get Reason.com added to the “bad” / “porn” web sites lists, and then LC1789 (plues the rest of us) would have to go back to posting on Stormy Daniel’s Stormy Frontal Nuditys web site…

      2. I have a picture of you sucking Hillary’s dick. Would that help?

    3. As I’m sure you know, tariffs are a tool used by governments going back to the earliest international trade. Ancient Romans and Chinese used them to protect, amongst other things, salt producers. As such, protectionist tariffs are one of the original tools in any nation’s policy tool-kit… up there with an organized military.

      For Trump to offer (and expect) a world free of tariffs was every bit as unrealistic as for him to suggest that everyone get rid of nukes.

      But sure, props to Trump for his symbolic and useless gesture.

      1. Tariffs were used by the Founding Fathers to get revenue for the tiny federal government.

        1. In one respect I think tariffs strictly for revenue, kind of like a fee for protecting property rights to facilitate trade, are a legitimate way to fund government.

          However tariffs for the purpose of disrupting trade are the opposite. They are the antethesis of freedom because your own government is punishing you because they don’t want you to engage in trade.

          This post is meant for lurkers and people who support liberty, not Trump worshipping Republicans who reject Adam Smith, Bastiat, Hayek, and Hazlitt.

          1. This is when lc1789 says I want no government because I don’t want government to disrupt trade.

            Just like the socialists that Bastiat talked about, if I say there is something I don’t want government to do, in lc1789’s simple mind that means I want no government at all.

            Everyone who has read Bastiat will understand this. Which means everyone except lc1789 and John.

            1. You’re an anarchist, so you dont want government at all. You mumbled through some voluntary government thing to hear property claims but that falls apart when the court has to force people to behave in court.

              Its funny when you throw out names of people that dont actually solve any problems that we have.

              Luckily, everyone on here sees that your positions are untenable and distance themselves from you.

          2. “tariffs for the purpose of disrupting trade are the opposite.”

            Obvious strawman is obvious.

            Tariffs for the purpose of eliminating or reducing other or foreign tariffs are only ‘disruptive’ of a status quo that may be disadvantageous.

            1. I would add that, while tariffs do have a historical basis here in the early Republic that was mainly a matter of practicality. It was much easier to tax goods coming into coastal ports than it was to levy any sorts of taxes in the hinterlands. Trying to do so would have been grossly disparate and distortionary.

              In general I’d like to see tariffs eliminated as a form of revenue generation, but accept that they will continue to exist as a tool for trade negotiations and elimination of foreign tariffs.

  20. In the short term, I benefit from lower prices — a dozen eggs at 89 cents, a pound of cheddar for roughly $3, a pound of cherries for less than a dollar.

    Those prices are less than delivered cost, however, and consequently will not last, but in the medium term I still benefit from the bankruptcies, job losses, and business failures because the producers tend to be Trump voters in Trump-supporting communities. If I wish, I’ll be able to collect farmland and rural Main Street storefronts at bargain prices for speculation.

    In the long term, I benefit because my children and grandchildren will get to compete economically with Trump supporters. Also, the backward political positions that have been tied to Republican prospects, such as gun nuttery and anti-abortion zealotry, will diminish in influence.

    I am content.

    1. “In the long term, I benefit because my children and grandchildren will get to compete economically with Trump supporters.”

      Pretty sure I can speak for most all of us here:
      We hope you are too stupid to learn to fuck and we further hope there is no human female stupid enough to put up with an annoying asshole like you.

      1. These knuckleheads live paycheck to paycheck.

        I have lived longer than some of them and have definitely learned more. They live by the poor understanding of economics and business, while people like me have gotten rich off a better understanding of the USA.

        1. People who understand economics point out your poor understanding of the subject, so you start saying everyone who disagrees with you (as in everyone who understand economics) doesn’t understand economics.

          Too funny.

          1. ‘Everyone’ does not disagree with me.

            YOU dont have a basic grasp of economics. You’re an Anarchist, so you dont want any government around anyway.

            Shirley wants free trade but cannot explain how the USA can reasonably get there.

  21. *wakes up*
    *sees article on tariffs*
    *checks comment section*
    *sees kirkland and lceconomicallyilliterate shitting all over the comments*
    *goes back to bed*

  22. Iranian pistachio and almond farmers are wearing MAGA hats.

  23. Dear President Trump,

    Please read.




      1. How does one get to free trade without encouraging trading partners to lower their trade restrictions?

        Bastiat never explained that one.

        1. He explained that unilateral free trade is better than a trade war.

          If other governments want to punish their citizens who buy imports that’s their problem.

          Punishing your own people who buy imports in response is like saying “You want to hurt our producers? Well we’re gonna hurt our consumers! Take that!”

          Dumb, da dumb, dumb, duuuumd!

          1. Exactly. You want to win at trade? Eliminate all tariffs and subsidies unilaterally. If other countries follow suit great, if not, they’re only harming themselves.

            1. Except when Americans want to sell products and services outside the USA and they cant because Commie China and Socialist Europe dont like it.

              The USA is not giving away something for nothing.

          2. Oh Sarcasmic and his faithful followers who have no plans to get the USA into a position of free trade.

            Americans are already being punished. They cannot sell overseas as easy as Communists and Socialists can sell here. Americans dont have free speech rights even when its their company. Americans are being targets for ‘hate speech’ online via US companies.

            Americans are already paying more than the market price for products and services in the USA because of trading partners trade restrictions.

            Sarcasmic wants America to fail anyways. Dumb, da dumb, dumb, duuuumd!

  24. there is a world wide shortage of soybeans . china needs to buy . what will probably happen is that US beans will get sold to Brazil who will then sell them to China. The actual beans will never leave the US until they are ready to be shipped to China under the name of a different seller

    1. Yeah man, change the paperwork on the ship, en route! President Trump’s new “Space Farce” will then have to deploy the Magic Booger Beam from orbit, to destroy the wayward, disobedient soybean ships!

      The new slogan will be, “Booger Beams sink soybean ships!”

      1. Thanks to Reagan we have high powered lasers that can shoot down flying objects.

  25. And lo, it came to pass that the Donald declared the steel and the aluminium and all manner of goods shall be taxed a shekel per camelweight and the people were sore afraid, asking one to another, “What then shall we go without, seeing as our necessities are raisethed a shekel per camelweight?” And the Donald spoke in a loud voice, saying, “Have I not buildeth thou a great wall? Have I not de-nucularized the Korean peninsula, slain the twin beasts of Isis and of Obamacare and cast out the demon of national debt? Have I not done wondrous works, fantastic works, works the like of which no man has ever seen? Why them dost thou doubt the workings of my very good brain? For though the price be raised an hundred-fold, so shall it come to pass that the price may be lowered ten times an hundred-fold.” And the people were afraid lest the Donald call them sad and losers and other manner of fake news and they spake as with one voice, “Yea, verily, the Donald hath wisdom that surpasseth our understanding, truly the Donald shall deliver us the goods, what a man, what a man, what a mighty fine man art our Donald, boom shaka laka.” Then the people went forth praising the name of the Donald for their faith was as that as a vole or a baboon or all manner of unreasoning creature.

    1. And the Trumpiests said “You’re fired.”

    2. +1 but also -1 for a too articulate Trump

      1. US trading partners had a chance to end trade restrictions and they refused.

        They didnt even counter offer with some lower trade restrictions amount. The declined to lower their trade restriction one bit.

        Commies and Socialists dont want to play by the rules of free trade.

    3. Moast excellent! And then The Donald spake unto them, saying untoeth them that them that thar inferior humanoids, let them that thar thar furriners NOT pollute our shoares with them that thar illegal humanoids, but that we be PURE upon our American shoares, in our pureness, and NOT to be-eth polluted by the presence of illegal humanoids, and their vile and despicable illegal ways!!!
      And they sayeth to The Donald, we will BURN our golden calves to the ground, and DRINK that them thar molten gold, that we may REPENT of our anti-Donald ways!

      Thus was it spaken, thus MUST we SPANK our anti-Donaldlishly sinful ways!!! (A spanking, a spanking! THAT is what we NEEEED so badly, in these last, lingering, sinful days!!!)

      1. Lefties like you dont want America to do well.

        Trump scares you to death because he has MAGA.

    4. “Then the people went forth praising the name of the Donald for their faith was as that as a vole or a baboon or all manner of unreasoning creature.”

      I lost it there

      1. Trump is going down as one of the best presidents in over 100 years.

        1. It’s going to be hard for you to keep carrying water for Trump when the tariffs on buckets and pails finally hit.

          1. Yeah, its a risk. If Trump is successful I can slam shit sandwiches in yo face and many others. If Trumps gets only a slightly lower trade restrictions with our trading partners, I can say that I was correct to risk it for 6 months to a year.

  26. Lol. Shirley and sarcasmic got lovecon to completely unravel today.

    1. The fact that you think that shows that you cannot read well.

      Sorry, I had to take away your last post spot.

      1. The fact that you think you didn’t get your ass handed to you on this thread shows that you’re completely delusional.

        Sorry, I had to take away your unanswered final moronic retort.

        1. Which sock puppet are you again?

  27. Hilarious posts by Jerrskids and Sauirrelsy

    I am not so creative but it reminded me of something written a very long time ago.

    Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses…13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”


    The irony is that it is far worse than Samuel thought. A mere tenth?

    Donald is very much a king. It is how he views himself and why he was elected. Sweep away the cobwebs and elites and get ‘er done. Dispense with government as we know it. As Donald has said he is a genius and he alone can fix it all.

    The tarrifs are just more property theft. They are just another violation of our natural right to conduct our own business as we see fit.

    Then again some people like being violated.

    1. Then again some people like being violated.
      I always thought that lc1989 wanted to be violated by Trump, but then I realized he wants Obama and Hillary to DP him. It makes so much sense. He talks about those two a lot; even when the context was unrelated to them. So the scenario would be lc1989 being tied to a bed with Hillary fucking him in the ass with her strap-on; Obama rubbing his sweaty black sack on his face; and Trump spectating in the corner while describing this spectacle as “tremendous” and “beautiful.”
      He’s a sick fucking man.

      1. I do have pictures of you sucking Hillary’s dick, so there’s that Tony.

  28. Honestly lc1789, at this point I just feel sorry for you. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live with hate as your defining principle. I hope you end up some place good.

    1. Oh poor Lynchpin, getting owned by a Libertarian…again.

  29. The beatdown lc1789 and kirkland received would get a subpoena from preet to investigate assault.

    Reminds me of democrats sad attempts at defending Obama’s drone war.

    1. Man, did Lynchpin and Sarcasmic look stupid.

      Lefty and Anarchists Unite!

  30. I gave a history lesson on Britain and Germany during the bitter period 1914-18 way back in this thread to make the point that when nations are short on a national asset like farm land it is a very good idea for them to do some serious protectionism of what domestic farmers they do have. The same goes for their fishing industry, or Japan and Norway until recently with their heritage whaling industries and so on. It is a whole lot better to have at least a rump asset hanging around than to have absolutely nothing when the world goes to hell.

    The whole problem with the perfect ideal Free Trade Magical Bubble Universe is that it is so efficient at maximizing what each nation and each region of the world does best until there is some type of cataclysmic wrench thrown into the interdependent global scheme in which all depends so critically on just-in-time supplies arriving from some place far, far, away without unforeseen delay, especially an interruption that could stretch into years or even decades.

    War is a big wrench. There are other things. Manmade climate change or extreme weather is the over-hyped Fake News of the last and next 250 years, but fate could toss us a near-extinction event at any time. There are a bunch of potential natural causes for a surprise to ambush us.

    Nations built to protect a lot of essential industries and skills, not only agricultural, but industrial, chemical, mining, forestry,and high tech, will be set up best for survival.

    1. Out of the apocalyptic scenarios there are three that I think are plausible.

      Nuclear war – Best to not have one. Still the number and size of weapons and delivery systems has decreased since the 70s and 80s. If say China, Russia and the US all started firing at each other it would be horrible but not enough to wipe out the entire country. Too much land mass, many areas, whole continents would be untouched.

      Giant asteroid – Forget it. We are toast. Depending on how big some humans may survive to repopulate.

      Disease Epidemic – The superbug. That is the one to worry about. The whole zombie apocalypse thing. The stuff is all still there but there are few humans left and they will eat you to survive. Disease could be global in weeks if highly contagious with a short latency period. The thing I would add to your list is a robust medical delivery system and infrastructure to make the medicines and essential supplies.

      Ebola will not be the one unless it mutates however it is a good example. While around 70% die overall turns out that 90% of those quickly transferred to the US survived. That is without a specific treatment, just advanced intensive care. Of course if you don’t catch the superbug and isolate fast enough so it wipes out and overwhelms the medical system we are are still all screwed.

      1. I manned the Repub booth at a local summer event on a very hot street yesterday and a guy walked up and started chatting with my booth partner about politics, soon moving to immigration, and soon on to some problem infections that are making it extremely difficult to run a hospital anymore (or work there safely.)

        I listened as best I could while still engaging the person in front of me, but I was impressed with the level of talk coming out of this guy on the disease problems anymore. After he left, I finally had a chance to ask my partner, “Who was that?”

        “Oh, just my doctor.”

  31. Zoomed in on picture. Disappointed it’s not potatoes.

  32. The Soy Boys are all aflutter.

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  34. I oppose tariffs on general principle, but I have to admit that black unemployment is at a record low along with the gap between black unemployment and white unemployment. The teen unemployment rate for blacks is still high. Maybe it’s time for those farms to become communist collectives for a summer or two until that trade war thing passes. When I was a kid, I spent a few summers at a Quaker farm in Pennsylvania that the owners ran as a summer camp. Teach farm skills, crafts, cultural enrichment, and leadership at the summer camps for a nominal fee, and it will build the teens’ resumes while sparing them warehouse injuries. Since the summer camps will be educational rather than industrial, the owners can eliminate backbreaking or dangerous tasks. Milking a cow, predicting the weather, and feeding chickens and calves were fun parts of attending summer camp for me. Alternatively, the farmers can loan the farms to the Boy Scouts of America to run as paramilitary training camps for teens.

  35. It looks like China is replacing USA soybeans with purchases from South America. The demand from China is driving up prices for soybeans in South America, which makes that market a good place for the USA to sell. Don’t these bankrupt farmers have internet access? Yeah, it’s an industry wide shakeup. The farmers who don’t want to hustle for new customers will be hit hardest.

  36. Why is our food going to get more expensive because of foreign tariffs?

    Won’t that mean we’re actually looking at huge discounts for the near future?

  37. America’s top crops, corn, beans and wheat are supposed to be commodities – subject to harvest yields, demand, weather ans plantings – if only the Department of Agriculture would keep its nose out of commodity markets. But when corn is suddenly an inefficient raw material for making ethanol and laws require that a large percentage of corn must be used for ethanol – then the markets go nuts.

    If the gubment would ban ethanol in gasoline, corn prices would drop in the world market and in the U.S, naturally reducing food costs to the consumers. U.S. food plants will run more efficiently with higher production demand. South American weather is cooperating so we will regain control of the world’s commodity crops, Ninety percent of American farmers are large corporations who know how to play this game. Get it on – after the congress acts on ethanol. Truth be told, however, is that farmers will get crop insurance payments for all reductions in demand. Socialism is so crazy,

    1. Go Gadfly go! Agreed, concurred, duly noted… Ethanol mandates SUCK, and ARE related to this utter CRAP going on here!

      (Government Almighty sucks too!)

  38. *If* it is more expensive (which this article can be wrong about) it will at least be of better quality.

  39. Fearmongering yellow journalism. Has been happening a lot more around here!

  40. It would be nice to see Libertarian spins to Reason staff articles.

  41. Tariffs are a form of taxation.

    All taxation is evil. Fine. Lets get rid of them, or at least reduce them as much as possible.

    What does the author propose we do to remove tariffs on our goods and services sold overseas?

    Also, on a comparative basis, who bears the brunt of foreign tariffs here in the US?

    Are tariffs on imported goods regressive or progressive?

    Is the author opposed to progressive taxation?

  42. Tariffs, trade wars, and the “Wall” are STUPID.

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