Free Trade

At Least 80 Workers Are Losing Their Jobs at This Pennsylvania Steel Plant. Tariffs Are To Blame.

Trump's steel protectionism seems to have failed. Again.


At least 80 employees are being laid off at a western Pennsylvania steel plant, and the facility's owners are not mincing words about why the job cuts are happening.

"We're running less turns and experiencing layoffs now because of tariffs," Bob Miller, president of NLMK Pennsylvania, told the Sharon Herald. Although President Donald Trump's tariffs on imported steel were intended to prop up domestic steelmakers—and despite Trump's repeated claims that the tariffs are bringing steel jobs back to the United States—the tariffs have raised prices and reduced domestic demand for steel. That slowdown has led to shutdowns at other steel plants as well.

Miller told the Herald that tariffs are "a failed policy."

It's increasingly difficult to argue otherwise. Trump announced 25 percent tariffs on imported steel (and 10 percent tariffs on imported aluminum) in March 2018. While the tariffs briefly hiked steel prices and gave American producers an advantage over foreign competitors, it came with a hefty price. Through April l of this year, U.S. consumers and businesses paid about $900,000 for every steel job created or saved by Trump's tariffs, according to an analysis by the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Now that prices have stabilized again, American steel mills have slowed production and laid-off workers. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that U.S. Steel experienced weaker-than-expected demand and reduced profit expectations in the second quarter of this year. On June 19, U.S. Steel announced that it would shut down two blast furnaces at its flagship plant in Gary, Indiana. The company's stock price has fallen from about $37 per share on June 1, 2018, when the tariffs were enacted, to $14.14 during midday trading on Friday.

The same has happened in other industries that tariffs were supposed to help. As of December, Trump's aluminum tariffs had created an estimated 300 jobs at a cost of $690 million. Two solar panel manufacturers that successfully pushed for new tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels last year are now bankrupt and out of business. And when Whirlpool lobbied the administration to tax imported washing machines, consumers wound up having to pay $1.2 billion more—and higher prices have reduced demand, punishing Whirlpool as well.

Nestled into the hills of northwestern Pennsylvania, about halfway between Pittsburgh and Erie, the NLMK Pennsylvania plant is owned by Novolipetsk Steel, a Russia-based steelmaker that also operates steel plants in Ohio and Indiana. The tariffs have hurt NLMK Pennsylvania because the company routinely imports unfinished steel slab from Russia to be processed and finished for American buyers.

"It is deeply ironic, not to mention painful to out of work steelworkers, that the administration's protectionist steel tariffs have directly caused the layoff of over 80 Pennsylvanians working in the steel industry," Sen. Pat Toomey (R–Penn.), one of the more outspoken congressional critics of Trump's tariffs, said Friday. "Blanket tariffs on steel and aluminum from our allies distort prices, disrupt supply chains, and increase prices for consumers—including downstream users of these products, who collectively employ millions of Americans."

In a petition to the Commerce Department filed last year, the company requested an exemption from the steel tariffs, but the request was denied in April. At the time, Miller told Fastmarkets AMM, an industry publication, that the Commerce Department was effectively treating NLMK's 1,200 U.S. workers as inferior to steelworkers at other facilities.

He's right about that. Why should the federal government care whether a Pennsylvania steelworker is working for an American company or a Russian company or a Chinese company? Doesn't the president always stress that jobs are the most important thing? It's good when foreign investment creates American jobs, but Trump's trade policies are choking off those investments and the jobs they produce.

"The layoffs at NLMK were entirely predictable. Tariffs disrupt supply chains and business models, even in industries the tariffs are supposed to protect," says Iain Murray, a vice president at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of a study on the moral and economic case for trade. "The tariffs destroy jobs in industries that use innovative models based around global supply chains. Tariffs slow innovation and it's workers who bear the cost."

Could NLMK simply buy steel slab from American producers instead? No, according to the company's exemption request filed with the Commerce Department. In 2016, for example, NLMK says it was able to source only 2 percent of its needed supply from within the United States.

It took nearly a year for the Commerce Department to make a decision about NLMK Pennsylvania's exemption request—which is pretty typical, as the exemption process is hopelessly bureaucratic, completely nontransparent, and lacking even basic due process protections. In April, when Toomey and Rep. Mike Kelly (R–Penn.) wrote to the Commerce Department to urge the approval of the request, they noted that the delay alone had cost the company more than $160 million.

The response Toomey and Kelly received this week from the Commerce Department is a good example of the bureaucratic nightmare that the exemption process has become. The delay, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross wrote, was the result of two different government agencies—the Bureau of Industry and Security, and the International Trade Administration—having to review each exemption request. An additional delay was caused by a lapse in appropriations for the department's review processes. "An effective exclusion request process is an important goal" for the department, Ross assured the two lawmakers.

Toomey shared the news of the NLMK Pennsylvania layoffs on Twitter, and used the opportunity to reiterate his plea for congressional action on tariffs.

That bill would require Congress to approve tariffs imposed under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, the decades-old law that Trump used last year to enact his tariffs on steel and aluminum. The law allows presidents to act unilaterally to impose trade barriers if there is a national security reason to do, and the Trump administration has stretched the "national security" justification to absurd lengths. Toomey's proposal is one of several bills introduced this year to restore congressional authority over trade and tariffs, but none have been passed by either chamber.

"The announced layoff was an entirely predictable consequence of a failed policy," says Clark Packard, a trade policy expert with the R Street Institute. "Tariffs are a really ineffective tool to revitalize a domestic industry."

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  1. the tariffs have raised prices and reduced domestic demand for steel. That slowdown has led to shutdowns at other steel plants as well.

    That’s because KKKorporashuns don’t want to buy products from people that pay a living wage. They prefer to get their goods from countries with child slaves.

    1. Everyone wants to pay less for the things they buy, not just corporations

    1. Boehm really is an idiot.

      1. Holy shit, a 4 year old could apply the logic here

        If NLMK can’t supply steel competitively to fill orders in this environment, they sure as shit couldn’t do it before tariffs, when presumably foreign mills undercut them.

        If the market equilibrium price is X, and NLMK can’t supply steel at X, they were going to be out of business anyway, whether the competition is supplying steel at X, X-$1, or X-$100

        1. Observing half-educated, superstitious, bigoted, used-pickup-driving right-wing malcontents lecture on economics is nearly as entertaining as watching bright flight create depleted human residue in our failed red state backwaters.

          Carry on, clingers.

          1. Agreed Rev. It really is entertaining and pathetic. Let them manage a mutual fund that 401(k)s purchase then let’s see how they view tariffs.

          2. Explain to us all, professor, how
            a) tariffs reduced demand of steel to zero, or
            b) this company that couldn’t survive while having its competition’s prices artificially inflated, would have survived anyway with the competition able to charge 25% less.

            1. Read the linked article. They are not out of business they cut production and laid off some workers. If price of the steel coils goes up they will ramp back up.

              How do you expect them to cut production cost overnight to meet the 25% increase in steel slab price ?

              The US steel companies to not produce enough of the slabs they need so they were getting most of them from Russia. Now they have to pay more. The manufacturers they sell to will not eat the cost and if US suppliers can’t meet demand at that price they will either buy from overseas, shift production to Mexico, Canada or somewhere, or cut production themselves.

              This is not rocket science.

  2. Tariffs really affecting my company. A domestic manufacturing companies. Suppliers are under backlogs, many suppliers having to jack up prices, and a few are even telling us “where else you gonna go?” as the raise them. Which is the entire goal of tariffs. To jack up domestic prices by eliminating competition.

    And in turn we will have to jack up our prices to make up for the rise in our component prices. It’s a vicious circle.

    1. A circle not seen in any data sets yet apparently.

    2. So you are saying that tariffs are working then. Thanks for confirming it.

  3. I will read this article when Boehm does his next article on the jobs created by Trump Administration policies.

    Since Boehm is a big hack and will never do such an article, it was straight to comments section.

    1. You will never disagree with Trump. He is your Lord and Master.

      You barely even admit, once in a while, that tariffs are taxes. You will never admit higher tariffs make the economy more inefficient. You prattle on about 36DD chess and haven;t got a economic clue in your little head.

      And you never ever answer any question about where you get the moral authority to mind anybody else’s business, to interfere with who we trade with, hire, or visit. You can’t answer, because even your pointy little head knows that violates every form of liberty, and if you dared admit that following Trump means violating liberty, your little conehead would fly off like a rocket.

      1. You’re an idiot. But this 36DD chess you speak of sounds interesting. Is it like Foxy Boxing?

      2. This article doesn’t make sense. How do you go out of business when your competition’s price is artificially inflated?

        What this tells us is that NLMK cannot make enough profit selling steel at just under the tariff adjusted price of the competition. Which means they sure as hell couldn’t survive without the tariffs

        1. Didn’t read the link to the original article.

          They buy steel slabs and turn them into steel coils which they sell to manufactures like auto makers. You know those big rolls of steel you see? Those.

          Because of tariffs the price of the slabs, which they were mostly getting from Russia because us steel makers don’t produce enough of them, went up because of tariffs.

          At the same time the price of the coils they sell went down.

          So it costs them more and they sell for less.

          The other thing to know is steel is not one thing. There are different grades and composition. So Ford puts out an order with certain specifications. So they had a supply line to get that order filled. If they can’t get it or it costs more than Ford will pay they lose the contract.

          1. Thanks for this, “They buy steel slabs and turn them into steel coils”.. I was confused too. So they don’t manufacture American steel they just BUY foreign steel and mold it. Yep, the tariff’s are meant to balance foreign economical policy with our own and seems to be working.

            So NLMK next move will be to buy American Steel instead of relying on the U.S. taxpayers to pick up their shipping bill and deficit created by treasury bonds.

      3. poor Alphabet troll. Tries so hard to increase web traffic with ridiculous word salads.

      4. You barely even admit, once in a while, that tariffs are taxes.

        I certainly have written about how tariffs are a tax on consumption.

        What you have failed to answer is the question of why that’s a bad thing.

        And you never ever answer any question about where you get the moral authority to mind anybody else’s business, to interfere with who we trade with, hire, or visit. You can’t answer,

        Sure I can: as long as other Americans aggress against me by violating my property rights and my freedom of association, I am perfectly justified in defending myself (though political choices). Libertarianism permits self-defense, and defending myself through political choices and activities is also legal under our current system of government. So, I don’t see on what basis you object.

        None of that has anything to do with Trump. Trump isn’t the first president to impose tariffs or enforce borders; Obama did it, Bush did it, and Clinton did it. As a libertarian, I don’t view these infringements on liberty as ultimately desirable, but as long as we live under the current set of social arrangements, they are practically necessary.

        You apparently want to benefit from state aggression while trying to minimize your obligations and duties. That’s not libertarian, it’s simply greedy, selfish, and unjust.

    2. Is it your contention that tariffs were required for job creation as part of some overall package?

      Or is it entirely possible that Trump has done some very pro-growth things like cut regulations, cut taxes, and some very economically bad things like impose tariffs? His policies have been good on a net basis. But that doesn’t excuse the dumb things he has done, and shouldn’t he be challenged on those?

      1. You have yet to demonstrate that tariffs are “very economically bad”. First thing you need to answer is “very economically bad for who?”

        As for “growth”, you’re deluding yourself about the state of the US economy.

        1. Tariffs “very economically bad for who?”

          Bad for EVERYONE except the politically connected insider cronies, who get protected from competition, for their otherwise-uncompetitive-against-foreign-products, lousy products, who are then enabled to go ahead and jack up their prices, now that they have been protected from market conditions (competition).

          A sweet deal for unethical crybabies! “Daddy Big Government, please PROTECT me, they are being MEAN to me, and making better-cheaper products than I am making!” A good deal if you can get it… Line up your campaign contributions NOW, if you are a producer-seller…

          1. American manufacturers are largely uncompetitive because of high labor costs and high overhead, due to US government policies. And it’s people like you who defend the cronyism that underlies this system.

            1. Yes, high labor costs factor in… After USA Government Almighty mandates min wages, and health coverage which MUST be covering alien abduction therapy, aromatherapy, Scientology therapy, addiction therapy, sex change therapy, species change therapy, enrich-my-uncle-the- hypnotist therapy, past-lives regression therapy, sex addiction therapy, love-your-Government -Almighty relationship therapy, therapy-therapy, and on and on…

              Oh, sure, people just like ME support the cronyism of the system! They are just like ME, in that they and I both breathe oxygen!

              But you know, you are JUST like Hitler, in that both of you emitted carbon dioxide!!! So I am not going to listen to a damned thing you say!

              1. Oh, sure, people just like ME support the cronyism of the system! They are just like ME, in that they and I both breathe oxygen!

                No, they are just like you in that they demand free trade with China. And they are just like you in justifying this with the same false narrative that you just gave, namely that, American companies produce “otherwise-uncompetitive-against-foreign products, lousy products”, when in fact the real reason is high labor costs and high production costs in the US due to US government policies.

                1. Why can’t both be true? Why can not ‘A) it be true that USA Government Almighty increases the living SNOT out of USA labor costs, via excess nanny-state molly-coddling of workers, AND ‘B) USA Government Almighty picks politically favored “winners and losers” via tariffs?

                  Is it possible, perhaps, that your hatred of the slanty-eyed yellow-skinned heathen chinee is clouding your visions? Non-American, therefor anti-American? WHY can we NOT all just get along, and trade freely? WHY, Santa, WHY?!?!?! Why can ye not set yer tribal hatreds aside?

                  1. Why can’t you just fuck off and die instead of resorting to bigotry?
                    You’re absolutely obsessed with race.
                    And why do you support the US government artificially inflating US labor prices with policies such as payroll taxes to disincentivize US citizen labor in favor of foreign peoples?

                    1. Why do you favor Trumpsterism being the New Vampirism that Sucks Your Blood Until You All Die? I have seen NO evidence that the New Vampirism (even when supplemented with generous doses of silver bullets and garlic) does ANYTHING to fend off the heathen chinee!!!

                      WHY, Santa, WHY?!?!

                    2. WHY, Santa, WHY?!?!

                      I posed this all-important question to the pundits in Why-Suck-Us-All-Dry-D-C, and THIS is what they had to say!

                      Trumpty Dumpty, He’s quite off-the-wall,
                      Trumpty Dumpty won’t stay in His toilet stall
                      He just goes ahead and takes His shits,
                      Totally regardless of whereever He sits
                      Whenever He simply, no way, can sleep,
                      He Twits us His thoughts, they’re all SOOO deep!
                      He simply must, He MUST, Twit us His bird,
                      No matter the words, however absurd!
                      He sits and snorts His coke with a spoon,
                      Then He brazenly shoots us His moon!
                      They say He’ll be impeached by June,
                      Man, oh man, June cannot come too soon!
                      So He sits and jiggles His balls,
                      Then He Twitters upon the walls
                      “Some come here to sit and think,
                      Some come here to shit and stink
                      But I come here to scratch my balls,
                      And read the writings on the walls
                      Here I sit, My cheeks a-flexin’
                      Giving birth to another Texan!
                      Here I sit, on the pooper,
                      Giving birth to another state trooper!
                      He who writes these lines of wit,
                      Wraps His Trump in little balls,
                      He who reads these lines of wit,
                      Eats those loser’s balls of shit!”

                    3. Why do you favor Trumpsterism being the New Vampirism that Sucks Your Blood Until You All Die?

                      I favored balanced budgets, immigration and border enforcement, equality of opportunity, equality under the law, and tariffs to counterbalance domestic regulatory costs since long before the election of Trump. Those are sensible policies that are common across all democratic nations around the world and are favored across most of the political spectrum in Europe.

                      The question to me is why the Democratic party suddenly has collectively lost its mind and opposes these principles.

                  2. Why can’t both be true?

                    They are both true. Regulation, taxation, and tariffs are all subject to rent seeking and regulatory capture. What’s your point?

                    Is it possible, perhaps, that your hatred of the slanty-eyed yellow-skinned heathen chinee is clouding your visions?

                    No, because unlike you, I’m not an epithet-spouting racist. I don’t think Chinese tariffs are very important either way and I neither “support” nor “oppose” them.

                    I have simply pointed out that the supposedly “free market” or “libertarian” arguments people are making against tariffs are foolishly wrong.

        2. Tariffs are cronyist. The boost prices for one industry (steel, aluminum) at the expense of another industry (consumers of steel, aluminum).

          Tariffs lead to inefficiencies as any form of central planning does in an economy.

          Tariffs are a tax. They take wealth from consumers and give it to the government. From that standpoint they necessarily reduce growth.

          1. I’ll support cancelling Tariffs JUST AS SOON as taxpayers no longer carry the shipping bill (enacted by the UPU), U.S. borrowing through treasury bonds is entirely eliminated, foreign governments carry the cost to prosecute international fraud at the same level as the U.S., the U.S. repeals all this B.S. employee choice-less acts like minimum wage….

    3. Ah, so you agree that raising the minimum wage is a good idea. After all, some jobs get paid more with a minimum wage increase and that counters the jobs that are lost.

    4. Boy, check out these trolls.

      Their programmers just cannot help themselves.

    5. Trumps deregulation have been fantastic for the economy, that cannot be denied given the data. However, the problem with tariffs is the negative effects are not always immediate but manifest down the road. George W with his steel tariffs learned that lesson the hard way. Tariffs are very emotionally appealing to the citizenry.

      1. You know what’s even worse “down the road”? The massive debt we’re accumulating and the lack of capital investment. That’s because low taxes and large amounts of government spending are “very emotionally appealing to the citizenry”.

        Tariffs are a tax on consumption; as such, they discourage spending, encourage savings, and reduce deficits/debt. So, if you add an “emotionally appealing” consumption tax on top of a bunch of “emotionally appealing” bad monetary and fiscal policies, you actually balance things out a little. Yet somehow you think that’s a bad thing.

        The biggest problem with tariffs is that they are simply not too large to make much of a difference. If the US actually balanced its budget, cut spending, stopped printing money, and permitted the market to set interest rates, the equities and real estate bubbles would pop instantly and we’d have a major depression as investment and businesses return to sanity.

        1. I agree with the out of control government spending. And yes I also agree with you on the equities market and real estate bubbles popping if government stopped all of its meddling. I agree with everything you listed 100% except for your pro tariff stance. Tariffs are an unfortunate reality that all governments engage in, however people who adhere to reason and the philosophy of freedom and free enterprise should be intelligent enough to understand tariffs are statist and belong in your list of negative government economic policies along with money printing, budget balancing, austerity measures etc.

          1. You think that “budget balancing” and “austerity measures” are “negative government economic policies”, yet at the same time complain about “out of control government spending”?

            As I was saying: tariffs are a form of consumption tax. In a free market, a consumption tax makes the economy overall less efficient and infringes on property rights of individuals; but that’s not the economic system we live under.

            Rather than repeating platitudes, try to formulate a consistent argument of why you think tariffs with China are bad under our current economic system.

            1. No I wrote that wrong, sorry about that. I do believe that budget balancing is good, obviously it is. I was typing in a hurry. I see your points, I really do.

              1. Well, my point about tariffs again is simply this.

                Tariffs are generally undesirable from a free market perspective: they are an infringement on individual liberties and they reduce economic efficiency when imposed on free trade between free markets.

                However, we don’t live in a libertarian society and we aren’t talking about free trade between free markets. We live in a society that is financed with debt, massively distorts its markets, and we are talking about trading with a state whose comparative advantage is authoritarian control over its people. In that context, the effect of tariffs isn’t obviously negative anymore. And, in fact, theories of the social welfare state argue (persuasively) that in order to maintain a social welfare state, you need “regulatory harmonization” within your free trade bloc, hence the EU.

            2. There is no such thing as a current economic system. It is not a system at all. It is dynamic competing interests on political, macro and micro economic levels.

              Bad or good are subjective terms.

              What you call platitudes others call principles.

              Your question is specious. You are asking for a coherent answer with incoherent terms.

              Can you rephrase the question?

              1. Bad or good are subjective terms.

                Good we agree at least on something! So on what basis do you prefer “no tariffs” then? I mean, Chinese authoritarianism gives them a “comparative advantage” for manufacturing and that increases overall economic efficiency if we remove trade barriers, but do you consider that as “good” or “bad”?

                What you call platitudes others call principles.

                Great! So what’s the principle you are basing your opposition to tariffs on? It certainly isn’t a consistent application of the NAP or other libertarian principles. So, name your principle and explain how you apply it!

  4. At this point the Drumpf economy is so bad, I wonder if even a hypothetical third Obama term could revive it.


    1. Good satirical comment!

      There are several problems with this piece. First, this is hardly a “steel plant” if it imports Russian steel, so it’s more like Whirlpool in that it uses steel. And I agree, tariffs on imports hurts both firms. Secondly, this is a Russian owned firm, operating in the US, which appears designed to use that parent company’s steel.

      Most importantly, how do we know this firm just isn’t using old technology only designed to use that Russian steel, is outdated and non-competitive? <a href=""We do know several US steel producers are profitable and increasing production while the NYSE American Steel index has doubled in value since Trump was elected. On that basis, this is just an example of a failing firm, blaming their failures on Trump rather than themselves.

  5. Boehm is continuing with the idiocy. Tariffs are Boehms climate change apparently. Wheres the inflationary signal eric?

    1. Where’s the moral authority to tell everyone else how to mind their own business?

      How can an economy gain when Trump levies hundreds of billions of new taxes and makes it more inefficient?

      1. Where’s the moral authority to tell everyone else how to mind their own business?

        The state violates my property rights and freedom of association through the political process; I have a moral right to use the political process to defend myself.

        How can an economy gain when Trump levies hundreds of billions of new taxes and makes it more inefficient?

        Leaving aside all the other fiscal and monetary smoke and mirrors, the annual budget deficit alone is about a trillion dollars. Covering that deficit with actual taxes makes the economy more efficient, since at least we won’t have to pay the interest on it. The pain consumers feel from that is the pain that they are currently imposing on to their children through borrowing.

    2. Boehm is sad, really. He’s stuck at reason and his FAV jobs are disappearing when propaganda outlets close shop. Leaving only coding and too many coal miners already filled those positions.

  6. I know this is anecdotal but I’m in the business of moving steel from place to place and business is very good right now and getting better every day. U.S. Steel in Gary shut down an oven but they are far from going under. Thousands of tons of steel going in every direction every day. I’m not defending tariffs and I oppose any government intervention in the economy. But the idea that steel production in the U.S. is on the ropes is just not accurate.

    1. Stop contradicting The Narrative with facts!

      “Facts” are social constructs of the white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy used to oppress marginalized peoples.

  7. Well it’s not like there was a thriving steel industry with no protectionism either. It’s a wash.

    1. It was robust but far less than China and India. It is one thing to lose market share due to economic forces. It is another thing to lose because of government distortions.

      At one time the US was a leading manufacturer in the clothing industry. We hardly make any now. It is a net gain because clothing is far cheaper. People hardly even bother to replace buttons anymore. Just toss it away and buy a new one.

      1. At one time the US was a leading manufacturer in the clothing industry. We hardly make any now. It is a net gain because clothing is far cheaper

        You say “it is a net gain” as if that were an established fact, but then only list one factor that goes into the “net” calculation, namely the price. Sorry, that’s not a valid analysis.

        1. It is a net gain for me and other individuals.

          I am neither a collectivist nor a nationalist although there are plenty of those around here.

          Read about comparative advantage in economics.

          1. It is a net gain for me and other individuals.

            Any form of rent seeking is a “net gain” for the individuals who benefit. By that line of reasoning, you could justify a special tax exemption for Echospinner and justify it as a libertarian policy. Is that what you’re trying to do?

            Read about comparative advantage in economics.

            Yes, authoritarian, poverty-stricken regimes like China have a comparative advantage in labor-intensive manufacturing over modern social welfare states like the US, that’s undisputed. But taking advantage of that comparative advantage involves violating the NAP both in the US and in China. As such, it is not compatible with libertarianism.

  8. It is not on the ropes. Yet it is not growing and as time goes on it will get worse.

    Trump doesn’t get it. He thinks trade deficits are a net loss. That is crap. It means we get more imports for less exports. That means we can afford more stuff in exchange for green pieces of paper. Then China has to do something with those pieces of paper. So they buy our debt. Great now they have different pieces of paper and I have new shoes.

    Trump and his supports say conflicting things. First they say that tariffs are great for the economy. Then they say don’t worry it is only a negotiating tool then we will get rid of them.

    For a libertarian it is all crap. The government has no business messing around in our livelihoods and using us as political pawns.

    And Chinese imports of American goods are down. Thanks Donald.

  9. Still no articles about business booms because of Trump’s strategies? Maybe tomorrow.

    1. Nag. Contradicts The Narrative.

    2. The problem here is there is no real way to define Trump strategies. President Trump came into an economy that was in a recovery from the 2008 recession. While you can say that President Trump has continue the economic recovery, you can not say that he has done essentially any better than President Obama. Over the course of their Presidencies Obama has seen better growth. That is mainly because his was a climb out a deep recession. Where President Trump has been lucky is that his policies, especially tariffs, have not sent the economy to a recession. Article like this show that an economic fall is possible,

  10. Reality Reports: Lowest unemployment rate evah!
    Reason Reports: 80 guys lost their jobs!


    Boehm is reaching Shikha levels of buffoonery.

    1. +1000

    2. But this is in an industry Trump is specifically trying to help with his tariffs. The general economic boom is due more to Trump’s perception as being friendly to business than to any specific policies, which only effect a minority of businesses (like the steel industry, which is being harmed)

  11. The point of this article is not that Trump tariffs are ruining the economy. The point is that tariffs can ironically hurt businesses you would expect them to help. It’s a point worth making.

    1. You made that point in two sentences. Boehm runs on with a word salad for days.

      Ironically tariffs “help” businesses that were not intended to be helped. The opposite of “hurt” businesses.

      Crickets from Boehm.

  12. No stock market “crash” today Eric?

  13. Can anyone address Nash’s point – that this company is failing because it is a shit company, rather than because of tariffs?
    I’ll wait.

    What I won’t wait on, because it won’t happen, is for you “free” traders to give a shit about policies like payroll and excise taxes which hinder US workers, are regressive, and drive more Americans toward State dependance.
    The US has the #1 market in the world, but would any of you leverage that? Would any of you support exchanging tariffs for a whole slew of policies that incentivize foreign over domestic production?

    1. Nadless Nardless: Free trade bad, because USA Government Almighty’s way-weak-dick (Under Der TrumpfenFurher especially) attempts at free trade are vastly crippled by Nanny-State over-regulation.

      All marriages are evil and worthless, because the married couple next door yell and scream at each other all night, and throw pots and pans at each other all day! Case closed!

      1. Let us please make examples of Nadless Nardless logic:

        Case “A”, USA wakes up about over-regulation, and decides to do away with min wage, endless health-care insurance min-coverage regs, self-esteem therapy, etc. But TrumpfenFuhrer-style trade wars rage on without end… Because, face it, Der TrumpfenFuhrer is a protectionist! Are our prices going to go DOWN, and our quality go UP, because… Because American producers face no fair competition from overseas?!? Does anyone REALLY believe this?

        Case “B”, we get rid of over-regulation, AND we stop the endless trade wars? Am I not enough of a grown-up adult, to decide for myself, whose products are a better value for the dollar? Do we think American workers are lazy, and stupid, and cannot compete? If that’s what you think, then say so! WHAT is wrong with this solution?

        Case “C”, we keep right on over-regulating AND fighting stupid trade wars? And we all fight endless blame games over it all? Is there ANY good coming from what we are doing now?

        Answer me, these questions three!!!

        1. “D”, keep on over-regulating, but go to REAL free trade (even if unilaterally), is yet another choice, but not a good one… That’s where the USA can’t compete because our production costs are too high. It would still be better than the worst-of-both-worlds that we suffer from now.

          1. That’s where you are wrong. (D) is both the worst outcome and the most likely outcome.

            The simple fact is that domestic regulations and trade barriers have to be linked: you can remove trade barriers to nations with comparable regulatory regimes; anything else is self-destructive. Both the US and the EU were founded on that insight. That’s why the EU has an EU-wide regulatory regime and free trade only within the EU.

            The only feasible path forward for libertarians in the US is to first reduce regulations domestically and then reduce trade barriers in proportion. Anything else is foolishness.

    2. Point addressed above.

    3. Reason: Free trade is when American workers pay payroll and income taxes, while Emperor Xi pays no tax on his exports to the US.

      Cui bono?

  14. Yesterday, “Every new regulation requires dismissing 2-old ones.”
    Today’s wish, “Every new minimum wage hike or gov handout requires 2x the same amount in equivalent Tariff increase.”

    “Oh”, says the *I got rights* self-entitled democrat might think, “maybe a $40K/hr minimum wage isn’t all its been cracked up to be.”

  15. What alternative do we have? What alternative do you offer?

    For decades, the USA has been taken advantage of by a serially lying, serially cheating, and serial thieving country: China. The cost to this country from this Chinese behavior is staggering. Clinton did not address it. Bush did not address it. Obama did not address it. They did little to nothing. And what was the result? It was not good. Now POTUS Trump has decided to address this.

    Personally, I’d like to not have to use tariffs to address serial lying, cheating and theft of IP. But what do opponents offer as an alternative…just ask China politely to change their behavior? Yeah, been there, done that. Did not work. We have a serially lying, cheating and thieving country grieviously harming our country.

    So Ok….what is a better workable alternative to tariffs to change China’s behavior? I’d love to hear it.

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