Free Trade

You Can Now Read the Secret Trump Administration Report That Claimed Your Toyota Is a National Security Threat

The never-released Trump administration report is a reminder that "national security" is usually a bogus reason to impose tariffs

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More than 18 months after Congress mandated its publication, the Biden administration on Tuesday night published a Trump administration report that sought to justify imposing tariffs on imported cars under the guise of national security.

The 116-page document is, among other things, a useful reminder that tariffs imposed for ostensible national security reasons do not make America more secure. In fact, the Department of Commerce report dispenses with that notion in its very first paragraph. "The Secretary in this investigation again determined that 'national security'…includes the 'general security and welfare of certain industries, beyond those necessary to satisfy national defense requirements,'" the report states.

Once you've established that national security means protecting favored domestic industries, all manner of outright protectionism is allowed via Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962—a flawed law that gives the president broad, unilateral power to impose tariffs on national security grounds.

The Trump administration never invoked the February 2019 report to impose tariffs on foreign automobiles and car parts, even though the president repeatedly threatened to do so. But Trump did use similarly hollow claims about national security to impose Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports—tariffs that the Biden administration has kept in place since taking office in January.

And even though the report was never used to justify new tariffs, it became the subject of a political fight between the White House and Congress. Frustrated by the White House's unwillingness to make the report public—even as the president was using the threat of new tariffs on foreign cars for political gain—Congress in December 2019 ordered the report's release no later than January 2020. The Trump administration ignored the order, and lawsuits seeking its release went nowhere.

"It was wholly unacceptable that the previous administration defied federal law and refused to release this report," said Sen. Pat Toomey (R–Pa.), who led the congressional effort to force the report's release, in a statement on Tuesday. "A quick glance confirms what we expected: The justification for these tariffs was so entirely unfounded that even the authors were too embarrassed to let it see the light of day."

The report is a warning for how the law's broad powers could be exercised by a future administration. For example, it depicts foreign-owned car companies that manufacture in the United States as potentially fairweather friends who "may not be reliable sources of equipment" for the Pentagon to seize and use as part of a war effort. Is America currently engaged in a war that requires the government to commandeer private vehicle manufacturing? The Trump trade document essentially argues that America should impose tariffs on Toyota and Volkswagen buyers now in order to shift consumer demand to domestic brands who will be loyal when World War III breaks out.

That's an especially foolhardy line of thought because there's really no such thing as a fully American-made or foreign-made car anymore. The National Highway Transit Safety Administration maintains a database listing every automobile make and model sold in the United States, along with the percentage of parts that are produced in either the U.S. or Canada. The "most American" cars turn out to be a few models produced by Honda, a Japanese company, that have 70 percent of their component parts made in the United States or Canada.

Worries about the health of the American automaking industry are also unhinged from reality. Global manufacturing supply chains that both the Trump and Biden administrations are eying warily have helped trigger a boom in American automaking, which now employs more than 8 million workers, a 50 percent increase since 2011.

But it is helpful to remember that all this nonsense is just a cover for the protectionism at the heart of the Trump administration's trade policies—and Section 232 itself. Declaring steel and aluminum imports to be national security risks was never any more serious than arguing that Mazda is operating a secret fifth-column aiming to dismantle America's readiness for war. That's merely a means to an end: jacking up prices on foreign competitors to benefit American-owned companies.

That strategy didn't work, of course, because tariffs are pretty ineffective tools when it comes to reshaping the flow of global trade. Trump's trade policies made a lot of goods more expensive and introduced a fair bit of political uncertainty into the economy, but didn't fundamentally change the dynamics governing American manufacturing, steel production, or automaking. There are plenty of costs but few benefits.

Nevertheless, Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 is a bad law with some amazingly bad potential.

Scott Lincicome and Inu Manak, trade policy experts at the libertarian Cato Institute, have explored the law's shortcomings at length. There are two main problems. First, Section 232's lack of an objective definition of "national security" allowed Trump (and would allow other presidents) to easily expand the law's powers almost without limit. Second, the lack of procedural requirements and the president's unilateral powers essentially cut Congress, and the public, out of the tariff-making process entirely.

The law has become, essentially, an "excuse for blatant commercial protectionism," Lincicome and Manak conclude.

The Biden administration's decision to release the Trump administration's automobile tariff report is a small victory for transparency in trade policymaking. The White House and Congress should now work together to reform or abolish Section 232 so future presidents can't abuse the law in the same ways that Trump did.

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  1. “It was wholly unacceptable that the previous administration defied federal law and refused to release this report and taxed the American people by Executive Order,”

    FTFY Pat.

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  2. “The Trump administration never invoked the February 2019 report to impose tariffs on foreign automobiles and car parts, even though the president repeatedly threatened to do so.”

    So, this is a non-story–by your own admission–and the legitimate argument against tariffs doesn’t require any reference to this report at all?

    Thank you for being honest about that.

    1. Why so sensitive of a story critical of the Trump administration? Aren’t we libertarians here, critical of both major parties?

      1. Because the report wasn’t used. In fact this is not an attack on the Trump administration anymore than Biden era rejected plans for gun control or open borders would be a legitimate attack on Biden even if they found some other rationale for the same outcome. This is just weaponizing advice to the President to stifle debate. But you know that because that is what leftists like you do.

      2. Yeah, opposition to the tarriffs Biden didn’t repeal because Trump didn’t pass them sounds like the perfect hill for libertarians to shout ‘both sides!’ and then die on.

      3. “Why so sensitive of a story critical of the Trump administration? Aren’t we libertarians here, critical of both major parties?”

        TDS-addled lefty asshole wonders why a non-story about Trump doesn’t get rave reviews!

        1. Sevo, are you arguing that we should increase taxes… oops “tariffs” on foreign imports? If so, this website is probably not for you. Perhaps try the socialist Jacobin website instead. It might be more your speed.

      4. Trump is gone. Now that your pals are in charge, there is a million times the threat to our natural rights. Boehm is far more interested in virtue signaling his TDS.

        Like always.

      5. Aren’t we libertarians here, critical of both major parties?

        Most of the so-called “libertarians” here are a bunch of preening progressive ignoramuses whose “libertarianism” exhausts itself in criticizing both parties.

      6. “Aren’t we libertarians here”

        You’re not. You’re an average busybody progressive with a taste for Top Man authoritarianism.

    2. Yes, they did. The Buick Envision got hit by a 25% tariff.

  3. …. Trump administration report that sought to justify imposing tariffs ….

    But it didn’t get green lighted.

    Ideas are just as bad as deeds now.

    1. Yeah, this article seems to be about Trump–rather than his tariffs.

      1. Which is most Boehm articles. He really is a worthless piece of shit with a meager little sack of talent.

    2. Well, words *are* violence… along with the absence of words… so of course ideas are violence too. Thoughtssault?

  4. Not news, also Trump isn’t president, and Biden hasn’t changed much if anything wrt tariffs. That’s gotta sting a bit.

    1. If anything,we will have more tariffs over time. And not for negotiating purposes, but as part of long term economic policy.

  5. The last four Toyotas my wife and I bought were all manufactured in the US (don’t know where the parts came from), as are the 2021 Highlander and Avalon we just ordered, which should be available within a month.

    1. (don’t know where the parts came from)

      Probably China, possibly Mexico.

      And by ‘came from’, that means manufactured by an American (or Japanese) company who has factories in China or Mexico. Not rando parts made by a Chinese supplier.

      1. Every car on the market today has some Chinese parts content and lots of Mexican parts content. You would pay much more if it was 100% American parts.

    2. My Mazda is from Missouri and my last Honda was from Alabama, I believe.

    1. “See, there was this report that was never released, had little impact and was basically ignored; but Orange Man Bad, so I’ll write an article about it instead of all the horrific assaults going on against freedom right now…”

  6. If Boehm is taking an issue and making it all about the Trump 2024 campaign, I think it’s fair game to take a story about Trump’s 2024 campaign and making it about the issues.

    Trump is suing Facebook, Google, and Twitter–in a class action lawsuit–for conspiring to violate his First Amendment rights and the rights of an as yet to be determined number of other Americans.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/07/trump-says-he-is-suing-facebook-google-twitter-dorsey-zuckerberg-pichai.html

    Trump rallying the American people in the name of free speech may be the only play left that could actually obstruct Lina Khan and the FTC in their efforts to write speech rules for social media–and exclude conservative speech from the public square under the guise of “misinformation”, “conspiracy theories”, and hate speech.

    There may be millions of people in this country that will be able to join Trump’s class action suits if and when they’re certified by a judge, and if the rumors are true that they’re tailored on the logic of Clarence Thomas’ concurrence back in April, when the Supreme Court dismissed a lower court ruling that Trump had violated the rights of people he blocked from Twitter, there’s a good chance that these class action suits will be certified.

    1. “If Boehm is taking an issue and making it all about the Trump 2024 campaign”

      Can you imagine 2.5 more years of suffering from TDS? Boehm’s gonna need someone to wipe his oatmeal off his chin.

      1. IME, plenty of TDS sufferer’s brains were pretty spongy to begin with.

      2. If Biden can win in 2020, Trump can win in 2024. I wouldn’t expect the same thing from Trump in 2024 that we saw in 2019. He’ll be an old man.

        I’d vote for him in a contest against progressives, but I’ll be looking for someone even better than Trump in the primaries. It will be hard to find someone better than Trump on defense policy.

        Nikki Haley has neocon instincts, and I’m not clear on Pence. Rand Paul’s hat should be in the ring. Any one of them would be an improvement on Biden or Harris. It won’t be possible to undo what the Biden administration has done with a Democrat in the White House, but for God’s sake, let’s leave the foreign interventions behind us.

        1. DeSantis is the odds on favorite currently. Although it’s way too early to really know.

          1. I hope Trump stays out of it and that DeSantis is the guy. I would also support Rand Paul.

            1. We don’t know yet what character assassination campaign Democrats will run against DeSantis. I mean, they got away with accusing Trump of Obama-inspired golden showers, who know how creative they will get next time.

              1. They’ve already been trying to destroy him. Eschewing lockdowns in Florida with good results did not fit the democrat narrative.

        2. If Biden can win in 2020, Trump can win in 2024

          Trump doesn’t have billionaire-owned newspapers and cable TV channels supporting him, nor legions of people who “harvest” votes for him, nor vote counters who run the same batch through multiple times, nor big tech companies that manipulate search results.

        3. If Biden can win in 2020, Trump can win in 2024

          Trump’s going to try and out fraud the Democrats? I don’t know if those levels of fraud are even possible. That may open up a black hole.

      3. I can imagine such a thing, but dear fucking gods I’d rather not.

    2. Just for the record:

      “A concurrence in the ruling from Justice Clarence Thomas has drawn intense attention in technology circles . . . .

      “As Twitter made clear, the right to cut off speech lies most powerfully in the hands of private digital platforms. The extent to which that power matters for purposes of the First Amendment and the extent to which that power could lawfully be modified raise interesting and important questions,” Thomas wrote.

      Big Tech companies Facebook and Google, Thomas pointed out, have vast and largely unchecked control over online marketplaces.

      “It changes nothing that these platforms are not the sole means for distributing speech or information. A person always could choose to avoid the toll bridge or train and instead swim the Charles River or hike the Oregon Trail,” Thomas wrote. “But in assessing whether a company exercises substantial market power, what matters is whether the alternatives are comparable. For many of today’s digital platforms, nothing is.”

      In Thomas’ view, social media companies are “sufficiently akin” to a common carrier, like a public utility”

      —-NPR, April 5, 2021

      https://www.npr.org/2021/04/05/984440891/justice-clarence-thomas-takes-aims-at-tech-and-its-power-to-cut-off-speech

      Ford might not have the right to export their cars through any particular deep water port, but if the longshoreman’s union is colluding to deny Ford the ability to use any deep water port, they are also colluding to violate Ford’s right to use a deep water port.

      Trump –or any other American–may not have the right to use any particular social media platform, but they do have a right to use social media. If social media companies colluded to deny them the ability to exercise their right to use social media, then they may have violated their rights.

      Furthermore, if the social media companies engaged in this behavior because the Democrats controlled the White House, the House, the Senate, the antitrust office of the Justice Department, and the FTC–and the Democrats already had antitrust suits pending against every major social media company threatening to break them up over tolerating “conspiracy theories” and “misinformation” (among other things), then in addition to colluding to violate the right to use social media, they violated First Amendment prohibitions against abridging freedom of speech at the behest of the government.

      Citing the First Amendment to defend self-censorship driven by rank intimidation by government–and threat of a break up by government agencies–is absurd.

      1. The collusion angle is a good angle, but that feels more like an FTC complaint, not a first amendment complaint.

        To be clear, I do think something in this context is actionable. And even if one could argue that it’s not from a legal standpoint, I will criticize the Tech companies to the ends of the earth for their patently immoral behavior.

        The idea that every social media platform independently decided Trump violated their policies within 24 hours is laughable.

        1. “The idea that every social media platform independently decided Trump violated their policies within 24 hours is laughable.”

          And it isn’t just about Trump being banned, obviously. They did the same thing at the same time to Parler.

          And the timing on January 6 is suspicious to say the least. I maintain that the significance of the capitol riot paled in comparison to the news that the Democrats had won the Georgia runoff elections–and the Democratic Party and the U.S. government were to be one in the same.

          If they did what they did because the Democrats threatened to break their companies up over tolerating “misinformation” on their platforms, then it’s not just about collusion. It’s also about why they were colluding.

          1. And who was out there convincing Republican voters that it wasn’t worth voting in the runoffs because the voting was rigged: Trump’s crack crew of Sidney Powell, Giuliani, the Pillow Guy, Lin Wood.

            1. Look, I think everyone has accepted that Trump won just under half the country, and Biden won 7/8ths of it. No one is disputing that.

            2. “Trump’s crack crew of Sidney Powell, Giuliani, the Pillow Guy, Lin Wood.”

              Does that compare to Biden’s “crack” crew of Hunter, TDS-addled lefty asshole?

              1. Hey now! Go easy on Captain Crack Pipe. Being the bag man for your father while selling out America takes its toll.

            3. Hey look, another comment completely irrelevant to the actual discussion at hand. And why is that? Because this squawking bird is a lefty propagandist, and should be treated as such.

            4. Any other fabrications you want to share with us?

            5. Yep, you’re such a libertarian.

      2. “It changes nothing that these platforms are not the sole means for distributing speech or information. A person always could choose to avoid the toll bridge or train and instead swim the Charles River or hike the Oregon Trail,” Thomas wrote.

        *sighs and gives up building own Twitter*

        How does one go about curing social media dysentary?

        1. I have this idea that the more market share a business controls, the more regulations they are subject to. The smaller the business, the more competition there is, so regulations on those businesses shouldn’t be necessary. The bigger the business, the less competition, the less consumer choices, the more regulation.

          Totally flip the ladder pulling that big businesses engage in by making regulations they advocate for to stymie small competitors only a burden on the big businesses.

        2. Same way you cure normal dysentery. Ensure you stay hydrated and just let all the filth pour out until it stops. There’s nothing else to be done.

          1. It’s also the only way to get rid of the democrats.

      3. “Trump –or any other American–may not have the right to use any particular social media platform, but they do have a right to use social media. If social media companies colluded to deny them the ability to exercise their right to use social media, then they may have violated their rights.”

        Gonna he hard to argue that, since it is public record that Trump started his own social media site.

        1. Gonna he hard to argue that, since it is public record that Trump started his own social media site.

          Not really and, per Thomas’ argument: 80,000,000 Twitter followers – whatever the number of followers on donaldjtrump.com = number of people denied rights.

          Again, either Twitter is a private platform and Donald Trump can mute whomever he chooses, or it’s a public platform and they can’t kick someone off for controversial speech. Even SQRLSY One is pretty clear on this:

          the property owners (the web site owners) should decide!

          “Website owners = property owners” – SQRLSY One

          1. FB and Twitter management basically have 100% control of their companies as they should. They are businesses and have the right to operate their services as they see fit. If they want to kick Trump off, they can. There’s basically nothing that partisan activist judges like Clarence can do about it.

            1. You’re not tricking anyone, Jeff.

          1. To be deplatformed by the backhbone provider, the certificate provider, the cloud provider, the payment processor and the two major app stores in 3…2…

            Build your own ___________.

          2. Hey White Mike. It’s now been established that Twitter and Facebook acted on the request of Tom Perez and Ron Klain when they booted Trump.

            Are you okay with private companies censoring political speech at the behest of government officials. Do you think that this isn’t a violation of the first amendment?

    3. Trump, our champion of liberty!

      1. More than SleepyJoe for certain.

      2. “Trump, our champion of liberty!”

        Mike, out champion TDS-addled lefty asshole!

      3. You really are a worthless prog shill.

      4. “Trump, our champion of liberty!”

        Basically, yeah.

    4. Private companies should be able to do whatever they want. If you don’t like it, start Kenshultzbook and make a go of it against Zuckerberg. Somehow I’m guessing you will lose.

      Facebook, Google, Twitter are not subject to the first amendment and are allowed to run their services as they see fit. The FTC should not get involved. State attorneys general should not involved.

      The lawsuits are jokes and have little to no chance of making it through the courts in a way that Trump will find favorable.

      1. Piss off, chemjeff. I realize that you’re furious with Ken for making you look like an ass every day, but this is pathetic even for you.

  7. This sounds to me like an argument for desuetude revoking the law – Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 had never once been invoked by any President in the 55 years of its existence prior to Trump and the first time it was ever used, a bi-partisan group of Senators introduced a bill to change the law. If the law was never used, it obviously was never needed and if the first time it ever gets used Congress wants to change it, it’s pretty good evidence that it was a bad law as well as an unnecessary law.

    (Note: I am assuming that no other President prior to Trump invoked the law, as a cursory internet search turns up no links to any stories about this law other than in reference to its use by Trump. All of them naturally attacking Trump on the issue, of course.)

  8. Yep, figured the title was bullshit

  9. It gives some insight into the kind of thinking going on in the admin at the time. These reports do not just come from nowhere.

    Trade policy in this country is a disaster. The tariffs have accomplished nothing and have only made things worse.

    Trump did not and Biden will not promote free trade. From the point of view of government our labor and right to buy and sell as we see fit is a political tool to be controlled and manipulated.

    Who cares where the parts came from? Who came up with the dumb idea that having them made here is an advantage? We were living in caves until people began to trade. You have metal ore to make bronze. We have more food than we need. Let’s make a deal.

    Then they came up with better ways to do that. Improvements in transportation and production. Prosperity is the direct result of trade.

    1. You think rejected ideas give insight? Into what exactly. Do you also go back on brainstorming sessions and point out how dumb all the rejected ideas were?

      That there was a report generated just means an idea was researched and ultimately found wanting. I didn’t see you leftists demanding a dissection of every unused policy report from Obama and I sure don’t expect to see it for Biden. This is just weaponizing working for Trump and if successful will be exported to all Republicans by you fascists.

      1. It gives insight into the mindset of government and the central planners who run it that such a proposal would be on the table.

      2. You partisans just kill me. Trump, Biden, Obama, they can all go to hell as far as I am concerned. But it is all you care about. Who sits in the White House. It is your whole world.

        1. echospinner rephrased: It’s ok if they kill the ability of any administration to be able to communicate ideas open and freely, but if a partisan makes this observation?!?!? That’s just a bridge too far.

    2. Trump did not and Biden will not promote free trade.

      Neither do you. You promote tariff-free trade with hostile, centrally planned, totalitarian regimes.

      Prosperity is the direct result of trade.

      Libertarians care about liberty; prosperity is a beneficial side effect, not the objective.

      1. Are you under the illusion that the US applies tariffs only on China and that it is a tool to advance human rights? We have tariffs on goods from over 100 countries.

        And how are human rights going in China since we bumped up the trade war? They are coming around any day now.

        So how does central government control of trade advance the cause of liberty? Isn’t that what totalitarians do? This is a new libertarian twist. Hayek would have been interested to hear it.

      2. Prosperity is not a side effect of liberty. It is both an objective of liberty and a direct result.

    3. “Who cares where the parts came from?”

      When it comes from an evil country that ethnically cleanses ethnic minorities in broad daylight, antagonizes our allies and provokes war by violating their borders and seizing land?

      I mean come the fuck on, seriously? We’re actually having the Chamberlain appeaser debate again?

      1. You are fooling yourself we still buy stuff from China. They are actually buying less from us. Trade deficit is at a record high. They don’t even want to talk with us. This is working out just fine for Xi.

        This trade war is really hitting them in the gut right?

        It ain’t about any of that. This is how politicians play crony capitalism by handing out tariffs and exemptions to their supporters.

  10. Yes they did. We got China to the table and got concessions. FFS, in 2019 we were exporting rice to China. Now that we have a weak, senile, compromised idiot in charge, any benefit is erased.

    1. China has only purchased half of what they agreed to and that was stuff they would have bought anyway. Did you really expect them to buy more than they wanted? Imports are not the same as tariffs. We still import from China we just pay more for stuff.

      1. They were making it easier for Chinese people to buy our stuff, and also to knock off stealing our IP. Among other things.

        1. So Mark, have they bought our stuff after we “made it easier”?
          Nope.

          Have they suddenly stopped stealing our IP?
          Nope.

    2. Oh Biden likes tariffs just as much as Trump. Trump was no conservative. He is a populist with an (R) next to his name.

  11. Nah. Toyota is the official car of Insurrectionists, per this Washington Post editorial.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/06/drive-all-new-toyota-paranoia-official-car-jan-6-insurrection/

    1. “Apparently, constitutional democracy isn’t one of those issues. This leaves me with one question: Would anybody like to buy my 2017 Toyota Sienna? I suspect I’m not the only one who won’t be buying a(nother) Toyota. Toyota likes to say its cars are “made in America” — while its actions are unmaking America.”

      That is the most hyperbolic pile of far left crap. The left will try to eat anyone who gets in their way. Meanwhile of course nobody cares people will still buy Toyotas and the WaPo is still a shitty rag. And nobody wants his minivan.

      Also the author is so fucking stupid he calls it a “constitutional democracy” which of course it isn’t. Milbank is a fucking bootlicking tool.

  12. The never-released Trump administration report is a reminder that “national security” is usually a bogus reason to impose tariffs

    That’s what bogus libertarians actually believe.

    1. I agree. Our Armed Forces would be paralyzed in days right now in major war with certain countries. First it is a high tech armed forces and we would be out of computer chips to rebuild and repair. We would not have the iron, steel and aluminum to keep building our defenses. That their are at least some people in the government that realize we need specific industries for our defense actually surprises me over the usual ignorant bureaucrat. Russia would have been defeated by Germany for this very reason if the US had not stepped in with Lend-Lease. Are we depending on Russia if we get in a war with China? I hope not.

    2. I agree. Our Armed Forces would be paralyzed in days right now in major war with certain countries. First it is a high tech armed forces and we would be out of computer chips to rebuild and repair. We would not have the iron, steel and aluminum to keep building our defenses. That there are at least some people in the government that realize we need specific industries for our defense actually surprises me over the usual ignorant bureaucrat. That woke liberal left-wing Trump hating Reason can’t see that does not surprise me. Russia would have been defeated by Germany for this very reason if the US had not stepped in with Lend-Lease. Are we depending on Russia if we get in a war with China? I hope not.

      1. Any war with China would be over in weeks and would be in the air and ocean. It would also likely be inconclusive. The days of massive tank and infantry battles on the plains taking place over years are long over.

        If China wanted to invade Taiwan they would have done so by now and we are not going to fight that massive gorilla over some sandbars in the sea. Not our business anyway.

        What do we really need to do to prepare for war? More computer hackers. We should have the best hackers and cyber security force in the world.

        North Korea selects the top math and science students at a young age and trains them for years in special schools as cyber war experts. We should do that and treat and pay them like elite athletes.

        1. True on pretty much all fronts Echo. I would say that China wants a Hong Kong style takeover of Taiwan. I’d bet they want to get a compliant government in Taiwan (why they’re busy buying up Taiwanese media today), then put in policies to merge a la Hong Kong.

          1. You’re a fucking idiot.

        2. First: while cybersecurity will be used in future wars in both offensive and defensive ways, the only way to ‘take a position’ is with men, metal, munitions, etc, etc – what cannot do it is cybersecurity….

          Second: We already have incentives for hackers and cybersecurity people today as they make a lot of money. On the low end for these experts would be like league minimum in football. And if you rise to the rank of CTO at any decent size corporation, with stock options and bonuses, pay is in the millions per year – a lot more than more professional athletes make.

          Lastly: I have little clue what might happen if Taiwan is invaded and neither do you. But I would guess that if China did such an act and no one/no coalition capable of stopping them did anything about it, I bet China uses lots of tanks and men at some point. Seems using computers in China can to do things to damage Taiwan, but it could never take full control of it.

  13. WHERE have you been these past thirty years, as nearlv every Toyota sold in the US have been built here in the US? Same with Honda, Mercedes, Volvo, Nissan, Mazda….

    meanwhile many American marques have been built offshore……

    Toyota ain’t the problem. THey’ve played the game fair and up front.

  14. The arguments against tariffs, particularly those on steel and aluminum, are based on fundamental concepts taught in Econ 101 when supply and demand curves are introduced. Such a tariff increases the price of steel and, with the higher price US companies will sell more steel. Foreign companies, since they must somehow absorb the cost of the tariff, will sell less steel. So far, exactly as designed. But will the increase in American steel be as great as the reduction in foreign steel? No, because the demand for steel will drop as the price goes up. This is what will be undeniably true: POST-TARIFF, THERE WILL BE LESS STEEL (AND LESS ALUMINUM) IN AMERICA.

    Will someone please tell me how we’re better off with less steel and less aluminum? Clearly there will be less manufacturing jobs since those jobs are, almost by definition!, the conversion of steel and aluminum into finished products.

    1. Nucor, Alcoa, and USS will be better off. The price of steel is through the roof again.

    2. And then there’s this. The more $ spent on steel, the less we have for other goods/services.

      1. But that’s the wrong way to look at it because it puts focus on “demand” and plays right into the hands of the mercantalists and Keynesians. If the secret to growth is spending $ then it seems logical that the best step is to not let $ leave our shores to begin with. But the secret to growth is not $, but real people using real resources to create real things. (Not really much of a secret when you think about it.) And steel and aluminum are real things!

  15. LSM99, the hottest online gambling website at the moment.

  16. “That’s an especially foolhardy line of thought because there’s really no such thing as a fully American-made or foreign-made car anymore.”

    The cogdis on this one has me in stitches.

    You don’t even read what you write, do you Boehm?

    Admitting that there isn’t a fully produced car (or anything for that matter) and not seeing the national security risk in our overreliance on foreign manufacturing from China. Sad.

    1. Also, it’s rich that you think 232 is being abused. The last thing anyone should want is Congress deciding what our national security needs are. Our head of state is also the commander in chief and the notion that our military command should have its threat assessments impeded at every step of the process by elected officials is laughable.

      Tariffs aren’t about reshaping the flow of trade or whatever ivory tower academic bullshit you’re peddling. It’s about punishing bad actors like China by denying them access to our markets. Tariffs are a form of economic warfare, which is really better understood as just warfare. Escalation leads to boycotts, followed by embargoes, and then open warfare.

      Keep pretending that we aren’t fighting China and that they aren’t a threat.

      1. Punishing bad actors.

        Like France, Switzerland, Canada, Bermuda, about 100 or so. Are they on the bad actor list too?

  17. “Our head of state is also the commander in chief and the notion that our military command should have its threat assessments impeded at every step of the process by elected officials is laughable.”

    Doesn’t seem to be working out very well. Constant wars and we never seem to win any of them. Time to burn the papers at the embassy in Kabul.

    “It’s about punishing bad actors like China by denying them access to our markets.”

    Yup they are just on the verge of leaving Hong Kong alone, ending slave labor, decreasing their threatening military posture, giving citizens freedom of expression, and ending persecution of minorities.

    They are so terrified of the tarrifs that I expect a regime collapse at any moment.

  18. Tariffs are anti-capitalist, pro-crony capitalist (fascist). They hurt the economy, all of us in the long run. In colonial America smuggling was a noble endeavor because it benefited the public. In still does. The use of violence against trade merchants for political gain goes back millennia. Free trade, i.e., one expression of capitalism, has always been attacked by corrupt politicians at the expense of the public who allow it out of economic/political ignorance.
    I was told in 8th grade civics (1955) that the USA was proudly capitalist because it created economic superiority. Next hour I was told tariffs were necessary to protect American shoe makers. I asked, “Isn’t that anti-capitalist?” and got sent to the principle’s office. Public (govt.) schools don’t teach, they preach, indoctrinate.

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