Straws

Trump Exempts Plastic Straws From His Sucky Tariffs

The much-maligned drinking utensil is saved from the ravages of Trump's trade war.

|

Plastic straws have received a lot of hate in recent years. They've been smeared, regulated, even banned. But they will at least be saved from the ravages of President Donald Trump's trade war.

In regulatory filings on Friday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued hundreds of exemptions to tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods imposed last year, including a carve-out for the humble plastic straw.

Straws were initially subjected to tariffs back in August 2018, when the Trump Administration hit $16 billion in Chinese goods with a 25 percent levy in response to supposedly unfair trade practices.

At the same time, the administration gave U.S. importers the opportunity to ask for exemptions from the tariffs. In petitioning the government for a carveout for a product, companies would have to address whether it was only available from China, whether it is strategically important to China, and whether the imposition of tariffs on the good was causing "severe economic hardship."

Apparently, straws fit the bill. The little suckers can be imported duty-free for the next year.

In granting some hardship exemptions to its tariffs, the Trump administration is tacitly acknowledging that these import duties are having real economic consequences for U.S. companies.

The carveout for straws fits with the Trump administration's pro-straw outlook. The president has criticized plastic straw bans. His reelection campaign sells Trump-branded straws as an alternative to "liberal paper straws."

The Trump straws are made in the U.S. and therefore would not have been subjected to the administration's tariffs. At $15 for a 10-pack, they are significantly more expensive than their Chinese-sourced alternatives.

In addition to being a minor corrective for its terrible trade policies, the Trump administration's tariff exemption might be good environmental policy.

It's possible that Chinese straw producers have responded to U.S. tariffs by trying to offload more their products on the domestic market. Given that waste collection systems are less developed in China, more domestic straw use would likely have led to more littered straws, and therefore more straws getting into rivers and the ocean.

Now tariff-free straws can be shipped to the U.S., where they're much more likely to be safely tossed in a trash can and carted to a landfill.

NEXT: Josh Hawley Says Libertarians Who Defend Tech Are Enamored with Power. He Should Look in the Mirror.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. The carveout for straws

    Nice band name.

  2. When I was in 3rd grade, my class tried to get into the Guinness Book of World Records by making the world’s longest drinking straw.

    I hope my former classmates are brought to justice for their crimes.

    1. Did 3rd grade Unicorn Abattoir know about the 32-foot rule of siphons?

      1. When I was in 3rd grade? Yes. I knew everything.

  3. ╔════╗───────────────╔═══╦═══╦═══╦═══╗─╔╗╔╗╔╗
    ╚═╗╔═╝───────────────╚══╗║╔═╗╠══╗║╔═╗║─║║║║║║
    ──║║─╔══╦╗╔╦════╦══╗─╔══╝║║─║╠══╝║║─║║─║║║║║║
    ──║║─║╔═╣║║║╔╗╔╗║╔╗║─║╔══╣║─║║╔══╣║─║║─╚╝╚╝╚╝
    ──║║─║║─║╚╝║║║║║║╚╝║─║╚══╣╚═╝║╚══╣╚═╝║─╔╗╔╗╔╗
    ──╚╝─╚╝─╚══╩╝╚╝╚╣╔═╝─╚═══╩═══╩═══╩═══╝─╚╝╚╝╚╝
    ────────────────║║
    ────────────────╚╝
    ____________________________________________________

    1. Like a straw. Cheap and hollow and most useful for sucking.

      1. Well, you better pucker up.

        Trump is gonna be President for 5.5 more years.

        1. Polish that knob bro. Its what you do best.

          1. Poor troll. You just always speak with Hillary’s cock in your mouth, don’t you?

  4. I guess I need for the progs to start hating my materials so that Trump will issue exemptions for them. Shouldn’t be hard; HVAC systems are going to melt the ice caps in 3 years and kill all the Polar Bears!

    1. Progs already hate HVAC.

      1. Cons hate sanity, moral decency, and facts.

        1. lol.. And only the insane, filthy and deceptive would actually believe such a thing.

          Weather Change is something to be hysterical about.
          Butt poking is a privileged group.
          Healthcare and Education are 100-times better with 100 new government programs that made them cheap and affordable.

          The definition of absurd retardation – “Progressive”.

          1. The public education system has clearly failed some of you.

            1. Awe. So that’s the machine that is brewing such stupidity – the public “brainwashing” system. Sounds about right to me. I always just assumed they were ridiculous because they were young, bored and naive – but maybe it goes a lot deeper than that.

  5. Trump is used as a doormat by Kim Jong-un. He blunders into a useless mess in Iran by his flailing incompetence. He massively explodes the deficit – even while damaging the economy with his bungled trade wars. And he lies like normal people breathe.

    Plus, it seems he might have threatened another country unless they help his reelection campaign. (not Russia this time)

    But he’s right on this Straw Thing, because of his administration’s Pro-Straw Stance. (apparently he believes it pisses-off the Greens)

    What. A. Buffoon…….

    1. “Plus, it seems he might have threatened another country unless they help his reelection campaign. (not Russia this time)”

      Well, I mean, he’s trying to correct Biden threatening to withhold aid to get Ukraine to STOP investigating his son’s business. Biden tried to cover up a crime and Trump is trying to increase transparency.

      But, hey, YMMV.

      Any idea why you weren’t upset Biden forcing them to leave his child alone with the threat of withholding funding? Biden has bragged about doing just that.

      1. Let’s switch to facts, shall we?

        (1) Biden did not “threaten to withhold aid to get Ukraine to stop investigating his son’s business” Biden threaten to withhold aid unless the Ukraine fired one man, Viktor Shokin.

        (2) All the U.S. Government wanted Shokin gone. Both the White House and the State Department considered him a major source of corruption in Ukraine.

        (3) The European Union wanted Shokin gone. They were pressuring Ukraine to create an independent judiciary and Shokin was blocking every major reform to protect his cronies.

        (4) The Ukrainians wanted Shokin gone. He was deeply unpopular with massive street protests in the country demanding his ouster. Shokin was despised for blocking criminal cases against his allies: corrupt influential figures high up in the Ukrainian government.

        (5) The current Ukrainian government considers Shokin’s ouster a critical reform, and believe U.S. and European actions were justified.

        None of this is new to anyone with the self-respect to get their news from a more reliable source than Fox. The less-ignorant case is this : “yeah, the whole world & most of his own country loathed the man, but it still had a bad appearance”. Go over to the National Review today and that’s what you hear: “There may have been good reasons for getting rid of this prosecutor, but the fact that he was, at this time, investigating the firm on which Biden’s son sat as a board member just stinks.”

        Good reasons indeed. But there was no good reason for Trump to withhold aid from a country facing invasion by Russia. There was no good reason he insist eight times in one call that the Ukraine launch an investigation the country doesn’t consider warranted.

        But there IS good reason, yet again, to see Trump as stupidly sleazy and corrupt

        1. The lies you tell yourself at night to believe your side isnt corrupt. Lol.

          Number 2 is my favorite bald assertion. 5 is hilarious too.

          Of course you probably think getting 50k a month with no experience in energy production in a foreign company happens all the time and not merely because hes the son of a VP. Should we talk about hunters Chinese equity firm and flying on airforce one next? Or do you have bald assertions excusing that too?

          God what a joke you are.

          1. How about both the Bidens and Trumps go away.

            1. Trump will be President for 5.5 more years.

          2. We’ll start with the below; maybe it will be enough. JesseAz has a sad little shtick. (1) I argue with facts, (2) he calls me a liar, (3) I provide more facts, (4) he disappears with his tail between his legs. Everything I said above is easily proven fact, so maybe Jesse will go straight to no.4 and stop being such a pathetic spectacle. Trump could really use better quality bootlickers……..

            Almost immediately after Viktor Shokin was appointed, he started to cause almost irreparable harm to Ukraine’s legal system. For starters, he failed to prosecute any prominent members of the Yanukovych regime or anybody in the current government. He constantly blocked reform to Ukraine’s broken legal system. He was in charge of implementing the 2014 law on prosecution which the European Union had asked Ukraine to do for years. The law aimed to reduce to role of prosecutors who “were absurdly superior to judges in the Soviet legal system that persisted in post-Soviet Ukraine” according to Atlantic Council. It also called for a reevaluation of all prosecutors in order to weed out the more corrupt and incompetent ones. Shokin manipulated the process so that the old system mostly remained the same and minimal, ineffective changes were implemented.

            He was the largest obstacle to judicial reform in Ukraine. It wasn’t just Joe Biden calling for his ouster, it was the United States government and the European Union. Steven Pifer, a career foreign service officer who was ambassador to Ukraine under President Bill Clinton, told Politifact that “”virtually everyone” he knew in the U.S. government and virtually all non-governmental experts on Ukraine “felt that Shokin was not doing his job and should be fired. As far as I can recall, they all concurred with the vice president telling Poroshenko that the U.S. government would not extend the $1 billion loan guarantee to Ukraine until Shokin was removed from office.””

            The European Union also called for him to be fired and celebrated his removal. “This decision creates an opportunity to make a fresh start in the prosecutor general’s office. I hope that the new prosecutor general will ensure that [his] office . . . becomes independent from political influence and pressure and enjoys public trust,” said Jan Tombinski, the EU’s envoy to Ukraine, in a statement at the time

            1. Oh, and for the record : If JesseAz does come back with more empty insults, I’ll just pile on additional facts. That’s the advantage of having the truth on your side. Not having the truth on your side is the disadvantage of being a Trump supporter……

              1. “All the most corrupt people in the world call this other guy corrupt, and I feel compelled to carry their water. Because progress!”

  6. The only thing 4D Trump is playing is 4D trolling, this is some next level shit(posting? legislating? regulating?)

  7. Trumpistas are a foul lot; they were so shocked by Hillary not winning that all they can think of is Trump the Savior! Everything he does is A-OK.

    Throw billions in taxes on hundreds of billions of goods; raise those prices for all Americans; reduce the diversity of goods to buy; and all they can do is shout Dow Jones! Stock prices! Unemployment! as if those wouldn’t be even better without tariffs weighing down the economy.

    They will never answer the basic question: Where does Trump get the moral authority to control what I buy and how much it costs? There is no answer, not even a fake news national security global warming answer.

    1. Move to China, buy what you want. Complain to Xi about tariffs on foreign products. Never hear from you again.

      1. Such a high bar you have.

        I’m sure you’ll return to a modicum of skepticism about political leaders who do things you’re supposed to oppose once one has a (D) after her name.

    2. You’re delusional

    3. You’re deranged again.

    4. Which prices raised by the way dumbfuck? Inflation went down, it is one of the reasons the feds decreased rates.

      1. A libertarian being against tariffs is the correct way of things. You are the dumbfuck. You are making yourself look like a sad, deflated little ogre with your constant, unquestioning, cult-like devotion to a very, very terrible president.

      2. Geez. Tariffs are taxes paid by the buyers. The buyers are Americans. That’s a price rise. How dumb do you want to pretend to be? I guess Trumpistas must be proud of being dumb as rocks.

        1. “Faith alone!”

    5. “Where does Trump get the moral authority to control what I buy and how much it costs?”
      The U.S. Constitution you buffoon…. “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations”

  8. “Ravages”? Sigh.

  9. Pwning the libtards yet again. Like a winner. *kazoo*

  10. So let me get this.

    Pro straw = Trump go!

    Anti straw = progtard lefties.

    Last time I used one I think I was 8 years old. Mom used to buy those bendy twisty ones.

  11. They can have my plastic straw when they pry it from between my cold, dead, clinched dental implants!

  12. Trump trolling Lefties.

    Hilarious and totally worth another 4 years of that.

  13. Still hard to believe trump is the president of USA
    زوج درمانی قطعی

  14. Why is Trump so big on all of these tariffs? I cringe every time I hear someone like Dinesh D’Souza call Trump a “free market capitalist.” You mean protectionist?

    1. I don’t even know why they are afraid to use the word. He is obviously a protectionist and has been saying these things for years. He was elected on that promise.

      At least Bernie Sanders comes right out and says he is a Socialist. He is honest about it, believes in it, and has the character to put it as it is.

      Trump and Trumpies are just weasels.

    2. You don’t seem to realize that “free market capitalism” DOES NOT equal “Gov Subsidized Purchasing”.

      Never-mind that UPU treaty that subsidized (taxpayers) foreign shipping.

      Never-mind that most of china’s cheapness comes from buying U.S. Treasury Bonds (Petro dollar) that drives our National Debt.

      Never-mind that that the so-called “Free-Market” ideas of the Bill Clinton administration was nothing but a BIG FAT SUBSIDY on foreign goods..

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.