Free Trade

Trump's Latest Trade War Scheme Might Be the Nuttiest One Yet

The most likely end result of Trump's literal Buy American policy: lots of American farm goods rotting in federal warehouses

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In a series of tweets starting Friday and continuing over the weekend, President Donald Trump outlined a plan for the federal government to use tariff revenue to buy agricultural goods from American farmers and redistribute it to other parts of the world.

It is, well, a pretty wild idea.

Though Trump has repeated this notion in a few other tweets, none of them go into much detail.

He seems to be proposing to use tax revenue paid by farmers—and by other Americans hurt by tariffs—to pay farmers to grow products they cannot sell, then to buy up the excess supply and spend more money shipping it to other countries where there is a demand for food.

If only there were some other mechanism for balancing supply and demand, right?

This Rube Goldberg–esque scheme is a good indicator of how convoluted Trump's trade war has become. Even before last week's ramp-up of U.S. tariffs and today's retaliatory action from China, the trade war was already warping international supply chains. Brazil, for example, was shipping more soybeans to China after China, the world's top consumer of soybeans, cut off imports of the crop from the United States. Brazil was sending so many soybeans to China that it actually had to import some from the U.S. to meet domestic demand.

Because trade, uh, finds a way.

Those alternative export markets weren't enough to make up for the loss of the Chinese market, where nearly 50 percent of all U.S.-grown soybeans ended up prior to the trade war. The Trump administration tried to ease farmers' pain by making $12 billion in payments to farmers stung by the trade war. Predictably, that became a boondoggle.

Now Trump wants to make this even more of a mess. Paying farmers to grow crops that they won't be able to sell sounds a lot like something China would do, as Reuters columnist Karen Braun points out:

Even the seemingly altruistic part of this wacky idea—handing out American surplus goods to the rest of the world—would likely be a disaster in practice.

For one, simply dumping American-grown agricultural goods into other countries would likely wreck local markets—and would probably violate World Trade Organization rules prohibiting such behavior.

For another, shipping goods all around the world requires a massive logistics operation that the federal government does not currently possess and likely would not handle well. And unless Trump is planning to nationalize the shipping industry too, there would be very real questions about who is paying for these shipments to "poor and starving countries." I'll give you one guess about the likely answer.

Prices and markets do a great job of predicting where supply will be needed to meet demand, even on the opposite side of the globe. There's no reason to think the federal government, once it buys up all those excess goods from American farmers, will be anywhere near as efficient. The most likely end result of Trump's Buy American policy is lots of American farm goods rotting in federal warehouses.

 

 

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  1. Que the trump-humpers to claim China can’t hurt the US economy in any meaningful way.

    1. Don’t think anyone has claimed that.
      What is pointed out is that the US is more important to China’s economy than China is to the US economy.
      We are the greatest market in the world. That’s leverage.

      1. So it’s a game of chicken: see whose people scream loudest first.

        1. The Chinese will not scream — they can wait a couple of years, expecting a better American administration.

          If American farmers suffer or fail, they generally have themselves to blame. If the Chinese are smart, they’ll tailor tariffs to inflict pain on Trump country.

          1. China can’t feed its people. Add to that their #1 meat product is pork which has large numbers infected with African virus disease.

            We don’t need China. China need our markets and needs to be able to steal our intellectual property.

            Intellectual property – any idea what “intellectual” means, Rev?

            1. Good point Page turner, furthermore China has numerous economic facets that US media just does not cover at all/anything but superficially.

              One facet being that the Communist Party power is becoming more and more dependent on keeping its serfs happy with slight rises in standard of living. The CPC is passing the buck on this as there is no plan for when the CPC cannot deliver anymore. Will the Chinese people be willing to go back to starving, living in the rural areas, and giving up their cell phones and other luxuries?

            2. “Intellectual property – any idea what “intellectual” means, Rev?”

              Why the implication concerning a limited vocabulary?

              Do you sense I am from Alabama, West Virginia, or Mississippi?

              Do I strike you as a graduate of Ouachita Baptist, Biola, Wheaton, Liberty, Grove City, or another fourth-tier, nonsense-teaching, conservative-controlled, backwater goober factory?

              1. You strike me as an ignorant racist – which you clearly are.

                1. Half-educated, bigoted, stale-thinking, Trump-hugging right-wingers are among my favorite to-be-replaced clingers.

                  1. Replaced?

                    You are a genocidal fcktard now?

                    1. He’s also extraordinarily unoriginal. The sign of a tiny mind with stunted dreams.

                  2. I’m sure you’re itching to put Trump voters against the wall and shoot them. That’s just the kind of person you are.

              2. Do you sense I am from Alabama, West Virginia, or Mississippi? Do I strike you as a graduate of Ouachita Baptist, Biola, Wheaton, Liberty, Grove City, or another fourth-tier, nonsense-teaching, conservative-controlled, backwater goober factory?

                No, you strike as a member of an inbred American aristocracy who has fallen on hard times; someone who thinks that his status, name, and education entitle him to wealth and privilege, even though he is thoroughly ignorant and unproductive. That’s what I think you are.

          2. The Chinese will not scream — they can wait a couple of years

            You’re completely out of touch with reality. The Chinese government is in deep trouble, both economically and politically. And without US food exports, they are at risk of food shortages.

            expecting a better American administration.

            And by “better”, you mean an administration that will be more willing to sell out American citizens to Chinese interests?

    2. Trump-humpers. Quite accurately describes a lot of loons that comment on this site. Traded principles for “owning the liberals.”

      1. A lousy bargain, because the liberal-libertarian alliance is going to continue to stomp right-wingers into submission for so far as anyone alive can see.

        1. The only part of libertarianism that aligns with liberalism is in making the US a more degenerate society.
          On the part where liberty is involved liberals and libertarians are on opposite sides of the divide.
          You are nothing but a degenerate authoritarian, Artie.
          Admit it.

  2. The most likely end result of Trump’s literal Buy American policy: lots of American farm goods rotting in federal warehouses

    This is different than the federal government regulating farming in such a way that farm goods rot in federal warehouses.

    1. False choice. How about neither?

      1. It was not a choice.

        Its illustrative of farmers wanting to be tied to government resolving some/much of their food goods transactions.

        of course, international trade tends to involve government because you dont have many nations that have 100% free trade.

      2. I’m all for ending farm subsidies. Which is why I’m not overly concerned about the effects of tariffs on farmers who are receiving massive government subsidies in the first place.

  3. US foreign food aid is already a big enough mess. Many of the countries we already give food to are dictatorships involved in civil wars and or revolts, and were already trying to starve out the rebels before the US food aid. Much of the US food aid is left to rot on the docks to keep it out of rebel hands.

  4. Imports from China are just 2.7 percent of its total. Exports to China are a mere 0.9 percent. Over 96 percent of our economy is not trade with China.
    Steve Hilton: Trump has been right about China for decades while the entire establishment got it wrong

    I wonder if these trade numbers are correct.

    I see another source that says 37.803 % GDP (2017).

      1. He got his numbers from the same place all Trump-fellating economic ignoramuses and white supremacists get their numbers: from their very asses. Or Fox News, which of late has also become a Trump-fellating bandwagon.

        1. How are those remittances from the land of the white supremacists coming? Why do you have to depend on money from a white supremacist country if they’re so ignorant?

          1. Hush. Beaner’s just butt hurt over more cash for the wall.

      2. It bugs me too that Communist China trade and Taiwan trade with the USA tend to be tied together and should not be.

      3. The chart you linked is PERCENT OF IMPORTS, not the percent of GDP that Chinese imports represent.

        The first page of that site shows total 2018 imports from China of 539,503.4 (in millions). Our 2018 GDP was 20,494,100M or 2 .6%

        Chinese imports are down during the first quarter of 2019 (while our GDP is up 3.2% in the same quarter). The difference in imports was made up by India and the EU. The Chinese are REPLACEABLE.

        https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html

      4. Hilton claimed that imports from China are 2.7% of US GDP.

        You say that imports from China are 17% of imports.

        The two numbers are consistent, since imports are only a small percentage of overall US GDP.

    1. The Chinese tariffs that were supposed to cause such inflation months ago added – at most – one tenth of one percent.

      The same idiots who sold us “Hillary will win in a landslide”, “ISIS is JV”, “Hands Up Don’t Shoot”, “Trump’s a Putin Puppet”, “Covington Kids Assault Vet”, “Jussie Smallett Hoax”, “Kavanaugh Ran A Rape Ring” are pushing the China Hoax.

  5. Why Markets Aren’t Sweating the U.S.-China Trade War Much: The ‘Trump Put’

    With China’s vice premier, Liu He, set to come to Washington for two days of talks, there is plenty of incentive for both sides to reach a deal.
    If only the media propagandists covered that this was flexing before the big meeting.

    1. DJIA –617 as of this post.

      Imagine if it was Obama.

      I know you won’t. You’re just a poorly paid Russian peasant.

      1. I was part of that -617. Taking profits, a concept you’re unsure of I’m betting. Been taking those profits for a week now, as has much of Wall Street. Capital gains taxes due. MAGA

        1. Trump, eleventy dimensional chessmaster. It’ll all finally be profit before he’s 100 I’m sure.

          1. Nah, you’re just really fucking stupid. You should really go drink your Drano. Less painful than when you progtards are rounded up and dealt with.

            Also, it’s funny you mention Russia, or being in thrall to any foreign power, since your pals Hillary and Biden have been in thrall to both Russia and China for quite some time.

      2. If it were Obama it would not be reported.

    2. Companies have been moving supply lines away from China for months. The 2.6% of imports we get from China are easily sourced from other countries at the same or lower cost (Viet Nam, Cambodia and India have been aggressively undercutting China).

      American companies are also returning manufacturing to the US.

      We export less than 1% to China. They’re totally unimportant to the US economy.

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2018/07/30/trade-war-casualties-factories-shifting-out-of-china/#4eaa74d7103e

  6. Most of our “elites”, those who determine/control US trade deals and conditions with China, have been selling out to China for decades.
    That they have made decisions which increase China’s power while enriching only themselves, with disregard for the well being of America as a whole, is completely ignored by MSM (very much including Reason).
    Why libertarians, so naturally inclined to skeptical perspective on government, dismiss the prevalence of governmental and quasi/crony governmental actors’ motivations regarding “free” trade is frustrating.
    I have a question:
    Are the rules of trade static?

  7. I know I’m kinda slow on these things, but someone please explain exactly what we will win when we win? And when will we be tired of winning?

    1. We will win three foot high gold letters spelling out “TRUMP” on the Whitehouse.

      1. Three foot high really isn’t that big.

        1. That’s not what she said.

    2. I know I’m kinda slow on these things, but someone please explain exactly what we will win when we win? And when will we be tired of winning?

      Overthrow of the communist dictatorship, the resignation of Jinping, and the disassembly of the largest, most powerful and subversive socialist government the world has ever known.

      Oh wait, you meant by winning the trade war. I thought you were talking about winning as libertarians.

    3. Getting lower overall trade restrictions with our trading partners would be a “win”.

      Getting China to stop blatantly stealing our tech would be a win.

      MAGA or bust!

      No really… Trump can use this tariff strategy and then if it doesnt work, go back to the trade restriction levels that we had pre-Trump.

      1. Getting lower overall trade restrictions with our trading partners would be a “win”.
        Starting a war is rarely a good way to get what you want from the other side.

        Getting China to stop blatantly stealing our tech would be a win.
        A red herring. It’s not “our technology”, it was developed by whoever is outsourcing to a China manufacturer. There is no concept of IT in China, it’s their ballfield, so it’s all fair game. No company with half a brain outsources to a partner who they don’t trust, and to no one without strong oversight, in that environment. That’s business.

        MAGA or bust!
        I choose bust. But that’s me.

        No really… Trump can use this tariff strategy and then if it doesnt work, go back to the trade restriction levels that we had pre-Trump.
        Ah, I get it. “Sorry guys, just kidding. Let’s go back to how it was before.” Let’s see how that works out.

        1. Since you choose “bust”, the rest is just butt hurt that HiLIARy didn’t win.

        2. It’s not “our technology”, it was developed by whoever is outsourcing to a China manufacturer. There is no concept of IT in China, it’s their ballfield, so it’s all fair game.

          So, when Americans say it’s their ball (including those who invented it) you tell them to fuck off but when China says it’s their field and that nobody owns the ball *then* you say the rules are the rules?

          Fuck off socialist.

    4. Our country back.

      1. The nation for which you pine — heavy on bigotry, superstition, backwardness, and ignorance — is never coming back. The culture war is over. The good guys have won.

        1. Poor Kirkland trying to switch who the bigots and racists are but they lost the Civil War.

          The Democrats.

        2. I’m not from a shit hole country “Rev” but you obviously are.

          1. You spend your life complying with my preferences because the liberal-libertarian victory in the culture war has consequences.

            Whine, mutter, and rant as you wish, but toe that line, clinger — the line your betters establish for you and for all right-wing losers.

            I am content.

            1. You won’t be, when the shooting starts…and it will be your fault.

    5. Is national security worth 2 tenths of 1 percent temporary increase in inflation?
      If it is, you win.

      Is not being robbed of the trillions that US consumers and taxpayers have invested in R&D, next generation technology, manufacturing know-how and productivity worth 2 tenths of 1 percent temporary increase in inflation?
      If it is, you win and get to maintain the leading edge in technology your funding has created.

      Or, you can surrender it all to China and give them a backdoor into all our technology and national security forever in return for less than 1% in exports to China and less than 3% in imported goods from China.

      Take your pick.

  8. So how many Reasonoid fauxtarians are defending Trump on this one? How many pointing to it as the hallmark of Trump’s libertopian plan?

    This guy is nothing more than an FDR with bad manners.

    1. This guy is nothing more than an FDR with bad manners.

      So FDR was worse than Hitler or the only thing that separated Hitler from FDR was manners?

      You can’t blame FDR like that. It wasn’t his fault he didn’t stand to greet people when they came in the room.

    2. Hello, Brandybuck!
      — “So how many Reasonoid fauxtarians are defending Trump on this one?” —

      They weren’t libertarians to begin with. A libertarian is consistent in his/her behavior and thoughts with the Non-Aggression Principle and the idea that all interactions between human beings of will should be voluntary. Trumpistas, instead, believe in the principle of Trumpish Juche: full economic autarky, wallowing in nationalistic/white supremacist claptrap, keep brown people off everyone’s lawns even when others do not want anything to do with Trumpista assholes.

      1. Hey, Mexican – how many brown people are asking Mexico for asylum vs the number invading “nationalistic/white supremacist” USA?

        Why do you think that is?

      2. No true libertarian…

        You confuse libertarians with anarchists

      3. Nothing is more aggressive than forcing yourself into space that the owners have said you may not.
        Support for illegal immigration is far from a libertarian principle – it is anarchy.

  9. People don’t eat corn/soybeans.

    Au contraire. That shit is in everything.

    *Not to detract from the main point of this post. Just sayin’.

    1. Au contraire. That shit is in everything.

      *Not to detract from the main point of this post. Just sayin’.

      It’s a pretty big dose of, presumably, false stupidity on her part.

      Also, somewhat implicitly nationalist/racist, like soy grown in American fields is, by virtue of its sprouting, Chinese and only capable of being put to those uses *in China*. Somalians are too stupid to figure out what to do with free soy.

      Not to say that we shouldn’t be selling the soy to China, but the “people don’t eat soy/corn” argument is a bit like the selective missing the point behind “you don’t need an ID to buy groceries”.

      1. I don’t know about Somalia, but Kenya imports about 50k tonnes of soy a year with production of about 10k tonnes

    2. She’s talking about feed-grade soy/corn, which is the overwhelming bulk of what’s produced for expert. This is soy with levels of protein too low to provide any nutrition for people, and corn that is too starchy for humans to get any nutritional benefit from. It would take significant processing to yield something edible.

      1. BS. All soy is the same. It’s a question of when it’s harvested.

        “All soy is the same species, Glycine max, but there are dozens of different breeds with different uses, and in fact, harvesting the plant at different ages gives a totally different product. American soy, the kind that ends up in animal feed, is mature, allowed to grow to its adult stage. At that point the pods are hard and water-resistant, and the beans are basically dried and hard, which makes them cheaper and easier to process into oil and soymeal for animal feed. While soymilk (and tofu, which is made from soymilk) is made from rehydrated and pulverized mature beans, edamame is made from the young, tender, green beans. And we mostly just don’t bother harvesting immature beans here.”
        https://modernfarmer.com/2016/02/imported-edamame/

  10. my god this author is an intellectual dilettante

    1. Boehm really is awful, and aggressively so.

  11. I hope every farmer who voted for Trump enjoys eating his goofy red hat. I also hope those hats are nutritious and delicious, and that the companies that buy the relevant farms during bankruptcy proceedings pay a fair price and are strong, efficient performers.

    Carry on, clingers.

    1. They are just the little people right Rev? You know ones that feed the fat, lazy, pieces of crap like you

      1. They’re bigots. That’s enough for me to root against them.

    2. You, Al and Jeremiah Wright all call yourselves “Rev”. LOL.

    3. Poor Kirkland troll.

      I make a killing selling “Organic” food to dipshits like you. No exports to China needed.

  12. It’s interesting that Reason never talks about the intellectual theft by China which is what this whole fight is about.

    1. the childless writers are too concerned about helicopter parents

      1. I can’t tell which is funnier; the fact that for the majority of the writers here at Reason, who mostly aren’t libertarian, you’re spot on or the fact that Lenore Skenazy, who champions and writes most all of the free range kids articles is, in fact, a mother *and* is way more libertarian than many of the other writers.

    2. THAT’S the reality all the so-called “free traders” so diligently bury.
      Americans have paid for innovation, productivity increases, research and invention over decades in our purchase of products as well as our support of research through our taxes.

      The idea that we have to turn that over to the Chinese or let them steal it without any repercussion is stupid. No one advocating that would let me empty their bank account and get away with it.

      1. So….. just another variation of “you didn’t built that”. Apparently you don’t realize that the contortions you go through to defend Trump on trade, place you squarely on the opposite side of the political spectrum you claim to be on.

        1. You don’t seem to realize the contortions you go through to oppose Trump on trade, place you squarely on the opposite side of the political spectrum you claim to be on.

          WE BUILT THAT. It’s you American hating entitled and out of touch leftists who claim otherwise.

          1. You should stop worrying about the lefties and start focusing on your preparation to be replaced.

            1. LOL. If you could replace us you would have invented the wheel and developed an alphabet instead of waiting for Europeans to bring them to you.

              1. The American electorate becomes less white, less religious, less bigoted, less rural, and less backward essentially every day. Our can’t-keep-up backwaters are emptying consequent to bright flight.

                Clingers have lost the culture war for a half-century, will be irrelevant soon, and deserve the stomping of their political preferences by their betters.

                Carry on, clingers . . . so far as your betters permit, that is.

                1. Last I checked, Venezuela wasn’t a majority white nation.

                  Non white people are plenty superstitious and economically misinformed. That’s why they abandon their motherland and migrate massively to the West, chiefly to the United States.

                  You think some wealthy Asian will choose to live in a ghetto because that’s where there non white brethren are? Stupid American.

      2. The people you mention are not Free Traders.

        Free Trade involves contractual, verbal, or custom agreements to have no trade restrictions for all parties involved in trade.

        You’re mentioning Unilateral Traders, who only care that the USA has low managed trade or no trade restrictions. They tend to explain away the Chinese theft of technology.

        1. By your own reasoning, shouldn’t the theft of IP by the Chinese have the same effect as tariffs i.e. discouraging US companies from producing/doing business in China? You should be encouraging the Chinese to steal IP. Seems to me that is a more libertarian argument. If the Chinese violate contracts, don’t do business with them and let the market sort it out. This just proves that you are a statist and want the state to make everyone play nicely….like a good lefty.

          1. That just doesn’t make any sense.

  13. Pretending that other countries imposing high taxes on our goods but us imposing no taxes on theirs is “free trade” is just idiotic.

    Further, pretending that letting Chinese steal the innovation and R&D Americans have paid for with no penalty is “free trade” is just idiotic.

    Finally, hollowing out our most important industries which leaves our national security at the whim of others and calling it “free trade” is the epitome of idiotic.

    What happened to all the adults with common sense?

    1. You’re correct. Its Unilateral Trade.

      Only the USA has to have low trade restrictions, is their strategy. Some of those people just want the USA to implode and this is another strategy to undermine America. Some just think that the market will change Communists in China to see the errors of their ways. Some dont care why, as long as they get cheap shit.

  14. Nobody can credibly claim that Trump knows what he’s doing in global economics now that it’s been made clear that he’s literally the worst businessman to ever live.

    1. If being worth billions is “the worst businessman ever to live” we can use more Trumps.

      1. We really don’t know what President Trump is worth? We need to see his taxes for that determination. We do know his father bailed him out of several failures. We know he lost over a billion dollars in the eighties. We know he can’t even run a casino without bankrupting it. According to his sons much of those billions are loans from shady Russians. So if the “worst business man ever” is not correct, it is not too far off the mark.

        1. Only people, who don’t file tax returns think they show net worth.
          His casinos got into trouble because all three of the people, he had hired to run them, died in a helicopter crash.
          He’s a real-estate guy, not a casino guy and things were going fine until that tragedy.
          To “lose” billions means you once had billions, and he was labelled the “comeback kid” by the same traitors that now lie, constantly about him.

        2. If you think a tax return is going to tell you a person’s net worth you’re clueless. If I have a billion in gold bars sitting in a safe you’re not going to see it on my tax return. You’ll only see my net income which I will minimize.

          Likewise, you have no idea what a Trump building is worth until he sells it. You might see the rents earned (after offset for expenses, non-cash depreciation, tax credits) but those will be minimized to the legal limits as well. Even the left leaning NYT admitted Trump’s worth could easily be $10 billion based on property ownership alone. Could be more.

          The fact that Trump ran into the same buzz saw when the tax code was changed in the 80’s that put tons of developers out of business and he came back bigger than ever speaks to his intelligence, business savvy and work ethic.

          Since we learn more from our failures than our successes, we’re lucky to have a guy like Trump as president. He learned the hard economic lessons using is own money.

          The taxes I want to see are those of “public servants” who came to Congress with nothing and are now multimillionaires. Pelosi, Feinstein, Harry Reid, Biden, Schumer, Cummings, Waters, Jackson-Lee. They should all have to show where their money came from.

          1. These people bleating about his tax returns are so incredibly ignorant.

      2. Trump inherited his life, you half-educated bigot. He is the superstitious slack-jaw’s vision of what it must be like to be rich and successful.

        1. You need to stop projecting, Artie.
          The bigotry comes mostly from your side.

        2. Artie the racist bigot is angry because he can’t accept responsibility for being too lazy and too uneducated to be successful.

    2. But he’s doing what the left and the union have wanted for years. Chuck Schumer is actually rooting for Trump in the China trade war fight.

      So in fact, Trump has to be a genius.

  15. […] also need an expensive supply chain to ship all of those American goods to poor countries, notes Eric Boehm at Reason. Who’s paying for that? And what would this sudden influx of American goods due to domestic […]

  16. […] also need an expensive supply chain to ship all of those American goods to poor countries, notes Eric Boehm at Reason. Who’s paying for that? And what would this sudden influx of American goods due to domestic […]

  17. […] also need an expensive supply chain to ship all of those American goods to poor countries, notes Eric Boehm at Reason. Who’s paying for that? And what would this sudden influx of American goods due to domestic […]

  18. […] also need an expensive supply chain to ship all of those American goods to poor countries, notes Eric Boehm at Reason. Who’s paying for that? And what would this sudden influx of American goods due to domestic […]

  19. […] also need an expensive supply chain to ship all of those American goods to poor countries, notes Eric Boehm at Reason. Who’s paying for that? And what would this sudden influx of American goods due to domestic […]

  20. […] also need an expensive supply chain to ship all of those American goods to poor countries, notes Eric Boehm at Reason. Who’s paying for that? And what would this sudden influx of American goods due to domestic […]

  21. It’s almost as if King Kumquat doesn’t know what he’s doing.

    1. Obama didn’t. But don’t tell him he’s no longer king.

      1. But Hillary.

  22. Because trade, uh, finds a way.

    Bravo!

    1. Yes but what way we do not know.

      “When goods do not cross frontiers, armies will.”
      Batistat.

      1. Trade is up with India, Southeast Asia and the EU. They are replacing the forced transfer of technology and hollowing out of US manufacturing that China trade requires.

  23. I don’t support Trump’s trade war with China for the most part. I do like SOMEONE standing up to China for their shenanigans, but the sad truth is that superpowers do business with unsavory states, even ones that won’t let women drive by themselves.

    I suspect that both sides will agree to some save facing deal that doesn’t really accomplish anything. Trade won’t be freer and people won’t buy more Americans.

    But a loss for Trump is a win for the cause, because (remarkably, if you think about it) the MSM is on record for noting that tariffs and protectionism cost American consumers. I saw one local segment exploring how Samsung washing machines will be affected by tariff despite being a Korean product, because it has Chinese parts. That’s stuff you’d expect from a Reason video.

    If we’re REALLY lucky, CNN will ask “Hey how come our jobs and assembly are being outsourced” and discover that taxes and business climate in America less than friendly. Lower taxes and free trade is good news for the economy! Perish the thought.

    1. That’s stuff you’d expect from a Reason video.

      Maybe a while back, but that Reason is long dead.

  24. […] also need an expensive supply chain to ship all of those American goods to poor countries, notes Eric Boehm at Reason. Who’s paying for that? And what would this sudden influx of American goods due to domestic […]

  25. Trump has made his dumbest move ever.

    His only leverage is the rest of us who put our backs into it.

    Fuck him.

    1. Got brains? Apparently not.

      Hands up, don’t shoot. Trump’s a Russian spy. Kavanaugh ran a secret gang rape cartel. Covington kids assaulted a vet, Jussie Smollett hoax.

  26. Debt hawks like Ron Paul and Jeff Flake tried to warn us, but both parties shunned them. Without trillions of dollars of loans from foreign countries like China, we would not have our massive military, social security, Medicare, or any number of federal programs that Americans have come to take for granted. All that and much more could be gone if we continue to fight with our creditors like China over secondary issues like tariffs.

    1. China accounts for $4.5 trillion in our deficits since 2001. The reason we have loans from China is because we allowed them to steal from us and launder their stolen profits as Treasury Bill purchases.

      We DO have to cut the $30 trillion in the -generational-welfare-for-vote scheme that has produced an irresponsible, entitled, illiterate and dependent class that now votes to steal the wages of the productive but that has little to do with military spending (a Constitutional responsibility of the fed gov).

      Military spending is now less than 40% of the budget while forced charity – which the fed gov was NEVER empowered to engage in – is 60% and THAT is what produces the deficit.

    2. Debt hawks like Ron Paul and Jeff Flake tried to warn us, but both parties shunned them.

      Both parties! Shunned!

  27. April import prices up .2 actual vs .7 estimate. Where’s the “disasterous” effect of the tariff?

    Import companies pay the tariff. They have a choice: shop for same priced goods from non-tariffed country or pay the tariff and pressure the Chinese to drop prices to cover.

    They’re doing both. Supply chains are moving OUT of China which accounts for 2.6% of our GDP and less than 1% of our exports.

    We can easily live without China. Most of what China imports from the US is food to keep its people docile. They can’t feed their people and the money the Chinese gov diverts to lower its manufacturing prices to offset tariffs only weakens them.

    1. Is that page you’re turning published by Fox Nation by any chance?

  28. Excuse me, EXCUSE ME, America is “making” $400 billion on these Chinese taxes paid directly to you and me via the Treasury, believe me, believe me. We’re raking in the cash thanks to the beautiful Chinaman who I love and his beautiful President, Shee. The Chinaman is paying for that wall I mean that tariff but we’ll see, we’ll see.

  29. “He seems to be proposing to use tax revenue paid by farmers—and by other Americans hurt by tariffs—to pay farmers to grow products they cannot sell, then to buy up the excess supply and spend more money shipping it to other countries where there is a demand for food.”

    Maintaining a buffer of US agricultural capacity and giving foreign aid with the capacity instead of the usual paying farmers not to farm and sending cash abroad.

    Sounds like a big improvement over both our agricultural policy and our foreign aid.

    #Winning

  30. […] president does acknowledge that China’s retaliatory tariffs have hurt American farmers, and he promises to help them, using revenue generated by his own tariffs, which amounts to a transfer from one set […]

  31. […] Trump’s Latest Trade War Scheme Might Be the Nuttiest One Yet […]

  32. […] does acknowledge that China’s retaliatory tariffs have hurt American farmers, and he promises to help them, using revenue generated by his own tariffs, which amounts to a transfer from one set […]

  33. The worst effect of this won’t be American agricultural goods rotting in government warehouses (which already happens often due to price supports). History shows that when first world countries give away food, farmers in the countries receiving these goods will stop planting food crops, because they can’t compete with “free”. (In much of the 3rd world, it’s already difficult to compete, since the infrastructure is so bad that it costs more to ship food 100 miles overland from the farm than to ship food by see from Minnesota to the capital city on the coast.)

    Then the giveaway stops, and there is massive starvation.

  34. […] the most likely winner of the ongoing trade skirmishes between Trump and China would probably be bacteria, roaches, and rats, the appetites of which will be tested by all the food grown by American farmers that tariffs would […]

  35. […] the most likely winner of the ongoing trade skirmishes between Trump and China would probably be bacteria, roaches, and rats, the appetites of which will be tested by all the food grown by American farmers that tariffs would […]

  36. […] the most likely winner of the ongoing trade skirmishes between Trump and China would probably be bacteria, roaches, and rats, the appetites of which will be tested by all the food grown by American farmers that tariffs would […]

  37. […] the most likely winner of the ongoing trade skirmishes between Trump and China would probably be bacteria, roaches, and rats, the appetites of which will be tested by all the food grown by American farmers that tariffs would […]

  38. […] the most likely winner of the ongoing trade skirmishes between Trump and China would probably be bacteria, roaches, and rats, the appetites of which will be tested by all the food grown by American farmers that tariffs would […]

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