Free Trade

The Trade War Truce Is Over. More Tariffs Coming in September, Trump Tweets.

The tariffs haven't worked yet, but Trump is going to keep trying anyway.


Tariffs on Chinese-made goods have cost Americans more than $20 billion, and President Donald Trump is apparently ready to hike that tax bill again.

Unhappy with the progress that's been made towards a trade deal with China, Trump on Thursday announced plans to hit about $300 billion worth of Chinese imports with a 10 percent tariff starting on September 1, 2019. Combined with the existing tariffs of 25 percent on about $250 billion worth of Chinese-made goods, the new tariffs will effectively cover all goods imported from China.

"Our representatives have just returned from China where they had constructive talks having to do with a future Trade Deal," Trump wrote on Twitter. Apparently, the talks were not constructive enough. Trump singled out China's refusal to buy more American agricultural goods, failing to mention that American firms were exporting those same goods to China in higher quantities before Trump launched his trade war.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had gained about 300 points during the day's trading, plunged by more than 500 points in the hour after Trump's tweets announcing the new tariffs.

The announcement marks the end of a lull in the trade war. After a series of escalations throughout 2018, Trump earlier this year had backed away from plans to impose tariffs on the remaining $300 billion of Chinese-made goods Americans import starting on March 1. He'd also lifted the steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Canada and Mexico, and he seemed to have reconsidered earlier threats to put tariffs on imported cars. Although the existing tariffs continued to act as a drag on the economy—business investment, in particular, has fallen dramatically since the start of the trade war—there was reason to hope the "Tariff Man" had recognized his trade war isn't making America great.

Thursday's announcement could be another bluff, of course. If it's not, lots of American businesses will take another hit.

"Raising tariffs by 10 percent on an additional $300 billion worth of imports from China will only inflict greater pain on American businesses, farmers, workers and consumers, and undermine an otherwise strong U.S. economy," said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a statement.

The new round of tariffs will hit many consumer goods previously spared from the trade war—in earlier volleys, the Trump administration had mostly targeted industrial goods and items used for manufacturing. The list of items targeted with the new tariffs includes home electronics like speakers and televisions; baby equipment like strollers and cribs; recreational items including tents, fishing equipment, and bicycles; as well as clothing, shoes, and books.

Jonathan Gold, a spokesman for Tariffs Hurt The Heartland, an anti-tariff group, accused the president of "doubling down on a failing strategy."

"Nobody wins in a trade war, and raising tariffs further on American businesses and consumers will only result in slower economic growth, more farm bankruptcies, fewer jobs, and higher prices," Gold said."It's time for the administration to come up with a real strategy, put a stop to harmful tariffs and finally deliver the trade deal Americans were promised."

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  1. Master deal maker at work. What a fucking joke. Old tax and spend Donny at it again.

    1. Best President in over 80 years in spite of his short comings.

      1. Short comings.

        So rumor has it.

  2. “failing to mention that American firms were exporting those same goods to China in higher quantities before Trump launched his trade war.”

    Meaningless comment. Of course they’re going to buy less after retaliatory tariffs. The objective is to punish China as much as possible, even if it hurts us in the process, to reach a more amicable solution that the initial point.

    1. The best way to win a cut-off-your-nose, to-spite-your-face, contest, is to NOT play the game! Despite ANYTHING you might have heard from the Trump fellators! Fellatio, Ignatio, does’t work!

      1. Watchu babblin’ ‘bout, bitch?

      2. Seriously, why would anyone trust Trump with this kind of power?

    2. As a short term tactic tariffs are ok, but as policy, not at all. Like war.

      1. Are tariffs worse than income, payroll, and FICA taxes?

        1. Yes, because they inhibit free trade.

        2. These people should know that tariffs are a tax.

          Taxes are likely never going away.

          Ideally, having the lowest tax burden allows for freer trade.

          Trump offered our trading partners free trade and they rejected the offer. Trump is using the strategy of tariffs to get trade restrictions lowered between the USA and trading partners.

  3. 50,000 troops in Vietnam didn’t cut it, I am sure that 500,000 will do the trick!

    33% tariffs won’t do the trick? I am sure that 100% will! If not that, maybe 153% will! Or maybe more…

    Take away 300% of our individual freedoms not working yet? I am SURE that Der TrumpfenFuhrer will find what exact threshold will FINALLY work for us!

    1. Has it been worth pwning the libertards so far?

        1. Open wider, clinger.

          1. Why? Did you bring cake?

        2. +1000

  4. Tariffs do not violate NAP if the nations have different levels of liberty.

    It violates NAP to allow the free flow of goods produced by slaves into nations of free men. It imports the conditions of slavery via competition upon workers.

    Equality in trade and freedom of movement can only ethically occur when the nations in question have similar political values.

    Free nations must impose tariffs on slave states, and punish them for their evil. It is a net cost to the economy of the free nation, but it’s the only ethically defensible course of action relative to its own citizens.

    1. It violates NAP to allow the free flow of goods produced by slaves into nations of free men.

      What if it’s not a nation of free men?

      1. USA isn’t a nation of free men. In the USA, as the ONLY nation on the planet of which this is true, you MUST get permission before blowing upon a cheap plastic flute!

        To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see … This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!

        1. you MUST get permission before blowing upon a cheap plastic flute!

          But skin flutes are ok. USA! USA!

    2. Tariffs do not violate NAP if the nations have different levels of liberty.

      Incorrect. Tariffs are a tax on importers, who in this case happen to live in a (nominally at least) free nation. Try not paying the tariffs and import something from China and see where the boot of government comes down. It won’t be on the exporter from China, by the way.

      What you’re describing is more in line with sanctions, not tariffs.

      1. I doubt Reason would be any happier with sanctions. They seem to not like his sanctions against NL and Iran.

  5. Orange Man once again assets his ignorance of what trade actually is

    1. Pretty sure he’s juicing the market for his buddies. It’s almost blatant at this point. The market reacted to Powell yesterday, but then eventually shrugged it off, so Trump had to pull out the other weapon in his arsenal, tariff tweets.

      1. Orange man

        Pretty sure he’s juicing the market

        When you’re an orange, everything looks like a juicer?

        1. The world is a scary place when everything around you is being juiced

      2. If juicing the market means driving it down a few hundred points, yeah.

        You are an idiot.

      3. Well of course JUICE thinks Trump is trying to ‘juice’ the market.

  6. The tariffs have worked very well, thank you very much. Look at all the former champions of free trade and fiscal restraint and smaller government now getting up on their hind legs to bray their approval of all things Trump. Their strange completely predictable renunciation of free trade and support for tariffs is a remarkably effective means of identifying shit-eating dogs. Of course, you can also identify shit-eating dogs by how many of them have an (R) or a (D) after their names.

    1. Trump really isn’t alone here. GW Bush was about as anti free market as anyone. He had tariffs AND bailouts.

      Trump’s biggest difference is his inability to accept the reality that he was wrong. Trade wars are in fact not easy to win. He thought he could be a bully, and now that someone stood up to him he decides not to back down but instead to double, triple, quadruple down. He’s an egotistical maniac.

      1. Trump brought Canada, Mexico, the EU, and China to the discussion table after they said that they would never talk to Trump about trade.

        Canada and Mexico caved to sign USCMA.

        China and the EU are likely hedging their bets on a Democrat winning election 2020, even though Trump will be reelected.

        1. Leo and the others won’t listen. They firmly believe that the best trade deal in the world is whatever crumbs each foreign country chooses to give us, and doing anything to fight back is unlibertarian.

  7. To lazy to read article. Does China stealing intellectual property (stealing isn’t the right word I know, but by to lazy I mean drunk) get mentioned in the article?

  8. Trump is such a moron on economic issues.

    1. Funny, the USA has had tariffs since its inception, but more people are bawling about them now than any time since the end of WW2. Existing tariffs were just peachy with 95% of the squawkers until Trump added some. Now people who didn’t know we had tariffs are suddenly free trade advocates.

      1. This may be the dumbest argument for anything, ever. We’ve always had ______, what are you complaining about?!

        1. We’ve always had morons like you here, so what’s the big deal?

          1. Sick burn!

        2. At least he’s trying something,and getting results too. You’ve never had a better idea Leo.

          1. Drop all tariffs. Full stop.

      2. The USA was founded with tariffs mostly funding the entire federal government and there were hardly any other taxes for Americans.

        Much of this squawking is because Trump is standing up for the USA and trying to use America’s position, as one the of best markets in the World, to get lower trade restrictions.

        Commies in China and Europe dont like that.

        1. Apparently ‘libertarians’ also don’t want America to have better trade deals.

          1. What does “America” trade? I always thought it was individuals who trade. What are you, some kind of collectivist?

  9. Poor Boehm. He is such a hack that he does not know what success is.

    I remember when all the Socialist nations of the EU, Canada, Mexico, and China all said that they would not discuss anything about trade with Trump.

    Mexico and Canada caved and agreed to the UScMA. China is bowing lower and lower at America. The EU is imploding.

    Success and more success….

    1. But Orange man bad! Orange man bad! ORANGE MAN BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  11. Tariffs are better than internal taxes that serve as tariffs on domestic labor and higher prices for consumers.
    If tariffs replaced income and payroll taxes, who here would oppose that trade?
    When will we see daily articles decrying those internal tariffs?

    Of course, that’s a general observation and that choice isn’t on the table.

  12. Trump is correct that the US feels the tariffs a lot less than China does, and he’s right that the US can hold up longer than China can afford to.
    But that doesn’t necessarily mean Trump can outlast China.
    Xi is basically China’s emperor, while Trump faces another election in 17 months. The discontent of the Chinese is less publicized than that of Americans, but it’s there.
    Xi has been locking up potential rivals pretty frequently. I imagine there are plenty of members of the nobility unhappy with him yet walking (relatively) free. The party purge, social credit scores, the tightening grip on Hong Kong – all this points to Xi consolidating power. That they are being done concurrently indicates some sense of imminent need, which means Xi isn’t yet bulletproof. The timing of the war is not ideal for Xi.

    But if China wins here, it won’t be status quo ante.
    They know that Trump is by far the toughest (as in, most difficult) US leader they’re ever likely to face. Either the US overcomes now, or post-Trump trade with China is going to be worse for Americans.

    1. +1000

    2. It’s sickening that so many self professed libertarians are rooting for China to win because Orange man bad. I expect that shit from the progtards, but libertarians should be better than that

  13. “Free trade” is a one page agreement:

    “No tariffs. At all”

    If your agreement goes beyond that, you’re not engaging in free trade and calling it that is dishonest.

  14. Oh the horror! American business is falling apart. Unemployment is the highest its ever been. The Government is borrowing trillions just to subsidize the economy………………

    Oh wait — Nope; that’s a lie. Unemployment is the lowest its been since the 60s. Trump still can’t match the Obama administrations spending habits by even 1/2 and the dollar is getting stronger.

    Oh the horror!!! AS IF…………….

    1. The horror is over… The Democrats lost the election.

  15. Tariffs have affected many businesses out there especially small business relying heavily on imported goods. The new increase is devastating to many of us small business owners. After all, we are the first to be hit with these changes. Educated consumers are aware of trade wars with China. However, millions of consumers will simply not be happy with price increases due to the lack of knowledge. Quality is going to continue to suffer over the next decade. We sell sun hats and accessories and have been doing it for over 20 years now. This is definitely been a game-changing experience for our company

    1. “Quality is going to continue to suffer over the next decade.” — LMAO!!! China – the symbol of quality…. Seriously, that has to be a joke/sarcasm right?

      Businesses who get their profits from subsidized (taxpayer enforced) shipping and political stunts like growing everyone’s debt through treasury bonds should suffer. If one has to rob to be self-sustaining; maybe its time to look for a new gig.

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