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Are Congressional Republicans Ready To Fight Trump's Tariff Madness?

Is Congress finally ready to get into the fight?

Imagine China/NewscomImagine China/NewscomPresident Donald Trump doubled down on his trade war Wednesday and members of Congress finally took their first tiny steps toward containing the economic damage.

Markets fell Wednesday as the White House announced a new round of 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese products, a move that will force American consumers and businesses to pay higher taxes for imported goods including refrigerators, cotton, electronics, and fish. The Trump administration said the tariffs were a response to China's decision last week to place tariffs on $34 billion worth of American exports, which was itself a retaliatory move aimed to strike back at the Trump administration for placing a 25 percent tariff on the same amount of Chinese goods on July 6.

As the trade war between the world's two largest economies escalates, we still don't know what the White House hopes to gain from the confrontation. American and Chinese trade officials told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that there are no negotiations scheduled between Washington and Beijing.

While the administration says the trade barriers will force China to stop stealing American intellectual property, it appears more likely that non-Chinese businesses will bear the brunt of the tariffs, according to an analysis by the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Economists say the tariffs are unlikely to force China to change its trade practices, though they could succeed in doing significant damage to the economies of both nations.

The new set of tariffs will be the subject of hearings in late August, and will not take effect until after those hearings have concluded.

Meanwhile, the Senate voted to include a provision in the Farm Bill limiting the president's power to lay tariffs for national security reasons. An amendment co-sponsored by Sens. Bob Corker (R–Tenn.), Jeff Flake (R–Ariz.), and Pat Toomey (R–Pa.) would require congressional approval before the president could impose tariffs under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962—the authority that Trump has invoked to impose steel and aluminum tariffs, and which he has threatened to use to slap new tariffs on imported cars and car parts.

"This Section 232 provision is being misused," Toomey said. The delegation of those powers to the presidency were meant to ensure that America's military could obtain materials necessary for fighting a war, he explained, but Trump has seized on that authoity "as a way to impose tariffs on some of our closest allies, closest friends, and most important trading partners."

The amendment passed 88-12, with all "nay" votes coming from Republicans.

The nonbinding vote is, for now, mostly meaningless. Still, the bipartisan support for limiting the president's ability to abuse the Section 232 tariff authority is the first sign that Republicans in Congress might be willing to stand up to Trump as he continues escalating an unnecessary trade war.

In a statement, Corker said he believed support for the proposal would grow as "American businesses and consumers begin to feel the damaging effects of incoherent trade policy."

That might already be happening. Wednesday's vote could also signal a shift on trade within the Senate's GOP leadership: when Corker tried to offer a similar amendment back in June, his colleagues prevented him from doing so.

In the last month, Trump has followed through on the threat to impose tariffs on Chinese imports (those tariffs were not issued under Section 232, however, and would not be subject to the congressional oversight included in Corker's proposal, which targets the broader steel and aluminum tariffs that took effect in early June). In response to the White House's bellicose trade policies, several American businesses—including famous motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson—have announced plans to close, move, or eliminate jobs

"This vote represents the strongest and most straightforward message this chamber has delivered against the administration's abuse of trade authority," said Flake in a statement. "Imposing tariffs on products from allies that pose no threat to our national security is just plain wrong."

Photo Credit: Imagine China/Newscom

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Who was the last president to actually learn a hard lesson from his administration's mistakes? I think it might have been Clinton, after losing the House. He was savvy enough to reverse course.

  • Citizen X||

    He spent the rest of his presidency learning different hard lessons.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    Bush firing (forced resignation) Rumsfeld after the 2006 midterms.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Before the midterms might have been lesson he should have learned.

  • rocks||

    And what trade ware is Trump initiating. In every single case it is the US's trade "partners" who are engaged in a trade war with the US and Trump is simply looking for trade equality.

    Take autos, the EU has 10% tariffs while the US has 2.5% (and on top of that the EU has none tariff barriers). How is that fair, how is the US saying "OK we'll match your 10% plus put the same none tariff barriers in place also" anything other than looking for trade equality? And the EU is much more open to US goods than our Asian "partners".

    American's have been getting ripped off for generations by widely unbalanced trade policies. Then Trump comes along and demands equality in trade policy and everyone goes ape shit, everyone except for the millions of blue color workers in middle America who are going to vote en mass to reelect trump.

    I used to respect you guys at reason, but I now see you're a bunch of f*ck offs who need a good woodchipping.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    President Donald Trump doubled down on his trade war Wednesday and members of Congress finally took their first tiny steps toward containing the economic damage.

    The USA has been in a trade war with China and the EU for decades.

    Trump told members of the G7 summit that if they ended trade restrictions that the USA would end trade restrictions. They declined.

  • sarcasmic||

    So the solution is to make Americans pay more for imports, from raw materials to finished goods, making everything more expensive! Now our paycheck won't go as far, jobs will be lost, and we'll all be poorer! Brilliant! That'll teach them furrinerz!

  • damikesc||

    If our ability to export is hampered, we will lose jobs regardless.

    Cheap products when you have no money are of dubious value.

  • sarcasmic||

    If our ability to export is hampered, we will lose jobs regardless.

    So let's double-down and lose even more jobs! Woo hoo! That'll teach 'em!

  • Shirley Knott||

    Lose jobs? Or just change the shape of the job market?
    The trade wars cost us jobs, invariably and inevitably.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Shirley Knott|7.12.18 @ 9:23AM|#
    Lose jobs? Or just change the shape of the job market?
    The trade wars cost us jobs, invariably and inevitably.

    The trade restrictions in place pre-January 2017 cost Americans jobs.

    That is what you want the USA to return to.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Prove it.
    You see jobs lost but not jobs gained.
    Or do you really support a managed economy?
    Freedom works. More freedom works better than less, even if there are countries with whom we trade that are not free.
    I want to eliminate all US tariffs and trade restrictions, without exception.

  • Shirley Knott||

    And just by the way, kindly show where I have advocated for trade restrictions of the pre-January 2017 vintage.
    Ascribing positions to others that they do not hold is dishonest.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yup and you're dishonest.

    I want to eliminate all trade restrictions. Since that will not spontaneously happen, we differ on plans on how to get free trade.

  • MWG||

    Your major mistake is believing exports are inherently good and imports are bad. Should probably spend less time listening to Bernie Sanders and more time reading Adam Smith.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You were already paying more for imports. Your check already didnt go as far.

    I am thinking 6 months to a year and then if it doesnt work, go back to whatever the trade restriction were.

  • sarcasmic||

    They're not expensive enough! We need to station warships in every port to stop foreign goods from coming into the country! We can be rich like North Korea!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    So YOUR plan is to escalate a trade war, where the USA is clearly at an advantage and awesome market, to a potential shooting war?

    Trump would never be that dumb.

  • sarcasmic||

    You need to adjust your sarcasm detector.

    The logical conclusion of restricting trade in response to restricted trade is to end trade. To embargo yourself. That is what you apparently want. Or you would understand if you thought it through.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Are you Tony or something? He cannot understand the difference between trade war and embargo. You apparently can't either.

  • sarcasmic||

    The logical conclusion of increased trade restrictions is prohibiting trade. As in turning ships away from ports. If the purpose of tariffs is to discourage Americans from buying foreign goods, then the final solution would be to prohibit the goods from entering the country.

    That's why trade wars are so stupid. Their logical conclusion is a government committing an act of war against itself.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "The logical conclusion of increased trade restrictions is prohibiting trade. As in turning ships away from ports."

    Its not the same, but go on.

    You can have trade disputes and still never engage in casus belli by blockading another nation's ports.

    You probably think trade disputes are an act of war. When in reality embargoes and blockading another country's ports are an act of war.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Please spell out the difference.
    All I can see is that tariffs ('trade wars') are more porous than blockades.
    They favor certain businesses over others. That's not freedom, that's not libertarian, that's not smart.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Sarcasmic's version of the Ancient Art of War:

    1) Losing is better than winning.
    2) When you're getting your ass kicked, accept it and continue to get your ass kicked.
    3) Always fight all your battles on the other guy's terms.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I mean really. Its like he does not want the USA to stand up for itself at all.

    As usual past presidents and past Congresses have royally fucked the current us. They kicked the can on various issues like North Korea, Iran, debt, trade restrictions, etc.

    We're here now so what do we do? Trump has a different plan and know that Communists in China and Socialists in the EU only respond to a strong USA. Otherwise, the fucking French think they are some badass nation that didn't surrender to the Germans.

  • sarcasmic||

    Protectionists' Art of War:

    When another country increases taxes on its people, increase taxes on your own people.

  • MarkLastname||

    Your version of the art of war: Chopping my own fingers off is winning.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    It's not "chopping off your own finger". It's like running or working out in the gym: you're enduring some short-term pain to achieve long-term gains and benefits.

    Believing that having to endure any mild amount of pain or discomfort for any amount of time at all is intolerable is the ultimate loser mentality. Thank goodness most Americans didn't think this way back during World War II. The Nazis and Japanese might well have succeeded in rolling over everyone.

  • sarcasmic||

    Thank goodness most Americans didn't think this way back during World War II.

    Because we're in an active shooting war with China, Mexico, Canada, Europe, etc.!

    Great analogy!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Anarchists would love a shooting war. One step closer to implosion and anarchy-land.

  • Shirley Knott||

    This is disingenuous.
    The trade barriers have been declining. Trump is now ramping them up substantially. To all intents and purposes this is a new 'war'.
    Nothing good can come of this.
    We are better off lowering our tariffs to zero, across the board.
    The game of "I'll bet we can shoot ourselves in the foot more often than you can shoot yourselves in the foot" is worse than stupid. We don't have to wait for them to stop shooting themselves in the foot to do so ourselves.
    The sooner we stop, the better. Regardless of what other countries do.

  • Citizen X||

    Nope. If everybody else is jumping off a cliff, the correct response is to jump off the cliff faster and harder and with both middle fingers raised.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Explain, Citizen X, how does one get protectionist socialist trading partners like China and the EU to lower trade restrictions?

    Clearly talking does not work. Clearly offering to end all US trade restriction in exchange for trading partner ending trade restrictions does not work. Clearly letting trading partners walk all over America does not work.

  • sarcasmic||

    Explain, Citizen X, how does one get protectionist socialist trading partners like China and the EU to lower trade restrictions?

    Lead by example?

    I dunno. Didn't realize it was the responsibility of our government to dictate to other governments how they may or may not tax their own people.

    Your solution, to tax Americans more because the other guy is doing it, is just stupid.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Great! Lets lead by example and not take shit from Communist China and Socialist Europe.

    Lets lead by example and have the USA as the only major economic power to have zero trade restrictions.

    Lets lead by example and cut our federal and state governments by 50%+.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I did ask Citizen X but whatever. Advice about government standing up to Communists is just not in an anarchist's wheelhouse. They dont want government in the first place.

  • sarcasmic||

    Ah yes. When you can't make an argument you start calling me an anarchist.

    I win.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You are an anarchist and you are a protectionist. That seems quite opposite of what an anarchist would be for.

    You want pre-January 2017 trade barriers put back in place.

  • sarcasmic||

    Keep flogging that straw man.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I win. You're a protectionist who want America to go back to pre-January 2017 trade restrictions.

  • sarcasmic||

    Ow! Ow! Not the overalls!

  • Shirley Knott||

    You're an idiot.
    Trade restrictions are bad whatever year they're from.
    Sarcasmic and I and a few others are pointing out that you have no rational or logical argument.
    Tariffs are a tax on consumers.
    If consumers want to buy what foreign countries sell, who is the government to interfere?
    What benefit can come from it?
    Reducing or eliminating tariffs is a winning move no matter what other countries do.
    Why do you hate winning?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You dont agree with the argument is all. Its not an irrational position to pressure other countries to end their trade restrictions.

    Trump said at the G7 summit that the USA would end trade restrictions if our trading partners ended their trade restrictions. They declined.

    Trump is already winning and lower trade restrictions than pre-Jan 2017 is just icing on the cake.

  • LynchPin1477||

    The biggest economies in Europe have had low, and mildly declining tariffs for the past several decades.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    1) This is not just about tariffs. Europe does have low tariffs on many products, about 3%.
    2) This is about all trade restrictions and the EU has far more than the USA. The EU demands that Google make speech unprotected even though speech is protected in the USA.

    EU trade info

  • LynchPin1477||

    The EU demands that Google make speech unprotected even though speech is protected in the USA.

    And that's a bad thing. And Trump's tariffs aren't doing anything to stop that. AFAIK they weren't even brought up as something he was trying to negotiate on. If you know otherwise, please let me know.

  • Shirley Knott||

    He's flailing because he's beginning to dimly realize that he has no argument.
    EU tariffs hurt consumers in the EU.
    Hurting consumers in the US is not going to improve matters. Never has, never will. History is pretty clear, or one or another of the local protectionists would trot out a link showing a trade war that was actually won.
    People in countries with lower tariffs thrive more than people in countries with higher tariffs. See Singapore and Hong Kong for examples, vs., say, Venezuela.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    EU trade restrictions hurt US importers too.

    Sarcasmic and Shirley have no response to the fact that Trump offered our trading partners that the USA would end trade restrictions if they ended trade restrictions. They declined.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    EU trade restrictions hurt US importers too.

    Sarcasmic and Shirley have no response to the fact that Trump offered our trading partners that the USA would end trade restrictions if they ended trade restrictions. They declined.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    But you admit that the USA has been in a trade war in some form for decades.

    You are simply saying that Trump's managing of trade has more trade restrictions than past managed trade restrictions.

  • sarcasmic||

    You're defining the existence of any tariffs at all as a trade war, which isn't very honest. A trade war is when countries impose protectionist tariffs, other countries respond with retaliatory tariffs, and so on and so forth.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Anything that is not free trade is a 'trade war'. It is honest because that what a country trying to gain a trade advantage over another trading partner by raising trade restrictions is called.

    trade war
    ˈtrād ˌwôr/
    noun: trade war; plural noun: trade wars
    a situation in which countries try to damage each other's trade, typically by the imposition of tariffs or quota restrictions.

    Trump offered to end US trade restrictions if our trading partners ended their trade restrictions. They declined and then increased their trade restrictions to damage our economy.

    Trading partners increased trade restrictions after Obama increased tariffs on tires.

  • sarcasmic||

    Trading partners increased trade restrictions after Obama increased tariffs on tires.

    Are you Tony or something? He cannot understand the difference between initiate and retaliate. You apparently can't either.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Are you Tony or Butt or something and cannot understand the difference?

    The USA never initiated every trade restriction ever. Its been a trade war for decades. You just dont think the USA should defend itself.

  • sarcasmic||

    You just said that trading partners increased restrictions after Obama increased restrictions.

    That's what I would call retaliation.

    You just dont think the USA should defend itself tax Americans because our trading partners are taxing their people.


    ftfy

  • loveconstitution1789||

    How can it be a trade war then?

    In wars, you can defend yourself.

  • sarcasmic||

    In trade wars you hurt yourself. That's why they are stupid.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The USA has been in a trade war for decades.

    Trump offered to end all trade restrictions if trading partners would end their trade restrictions. They refused. That is stupid.

  • Shirley Knott||

    The use of 'every' as a modifier to 'never' is pretty stupid.

    How do US tariffs, which are paid by American consumers, benefit them?

    The only way to win a trade war is not to play.
    Eliminate all tariffs and trade restrictions, without exception. They have no benefit to 'us', only to selected cronies who would rather not compete.

  • Shirley Knott||

    He also appears to believe that free trade must be reciprocal or the free-er party is less free. Or something. 'Less is more!' shouts the protectionist.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I know its fun for you folks to keep saying the same things about your protectionist positions.

    Yup, you're protectionists for demanding that the USA keeps the trade restrictions it had as of Jan 2017.

    Trump offered to end US trade restrictions if our trading partners end their trade restrictions. They declined.

  • sarcasmic||

    Trump offered to end US trade restrictions tax Americans less if our trading partners end their trade restrictions tax their people less . They declined.

    Your solution is to tax Americans more. Brilliant!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You're solution is to tax Americans more like pre-January 2017.

    I want free trade with zero trade restrictions. The only ways to get that to happen is to pressure Communist and Socialist trading partners...

    ...or for authoritarian regimes to suddenly see the error of their ways and agree with Trump and then end all trade restrictions. I can get you a cheap price on Chinese unicorns.

  • sarcasmic||

    You're solution is to tax Americans more like pre-January 2017.

    I didn't say that. All I've said is that taxing Americans more is dumb.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Which means if there were not new tariffs, the tariffs and trade restrictions of pre-Trump would be put back in place.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Who is arguing for that?
    It's a fantasy of your own creation.
    Provide a link to any of us who are arguing with you where we, rather than you, demand that we keep trade restrictions.
    We are better off without trade restrictions regardless of what our trading partners do.
    The protectionist here is you. You want a managed economy with the government picking winners and thus creating losers.

  • sarcasmic||

    Who is arguing for that?
    It's a fantasy of your own creation.

    I've noticed that lc1789 is an expert straw man slayer. When he can't win an argument, rather than admitting to being wrong he says things like "You want 2017 protectionism! You're a protectionist! I can't hear you because I've got my fingers in my ears! Nanny nanny boo boo!" or "sarcasmic is an anarchist because I said so! I can't hear you! Neener neener!"

  • Shirley Knott||

    Sounds about right.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sarcasmic wants pre-2017 trade restrictions.

    Shirley says that she want free trade, no exceptions.

    Trump offered to trading partners that the USA would end all trade restrictions if they ended all trade restrictions. They declined.

    Sarcasmic does not want to challenge any trading partners and go back to status quo.

    Shirley has no concrete ideas on how to get to free trade.

    Trump wants to try pressuring our trading partners to lower trade restrictions since they declined to end all trade restrictions.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Don't we currently have pre-2017 trade restrictions PLUS Trumps' tariffs? Didn't Trump pull out of the TPP, which, imperfect though it was, would have reduced trade restrictions and strengthened US relations with Asian countries that may instead now more closely align with China?

    You can through around Trump's off the cuff offer to end trade restrictions all you want. You can't dismiss the fact that, when faced with an opportunity to actually reduce trade restrictions, he instead chose to increase them.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    TPP was not a decrease in trade restrictions. Its was pages and pages of increased trade restrictions.

    We do have pre-Trump trade restrictions plus new Trump trade restrictions, which is worse. If the plan works to pressure trading partners, then we will have less trade restrictions than in 2017.

    You also cannot dismiss the fact that Trump also offered to end all US trade restrictions if trading partners ended their trade restrictions. They declined.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sarcasmic is a protectionist who is fine with pre-Trump managed trade he just does not want Trump to get trading partners to lower their trade restrictions. This way the USA loses.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    If another country can sell as much as they want to my countrymen with less hassle but I am unable to sell to that trading partner because they have some Commie rule.

    It is literally makes me less free.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I don't admit that. There has been a steady, if imperfect, attempt to reduce trade barriers for several decades.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Prove it then. Cite your position that trade barriers had been reducing for several decades.

    Attempts do not count in evidence of actually reducing trade barriers.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Here is a start.

    There is also NAFTA, CAFTA, TPP, the EU common market...

    There is also the fact that US imports and exports have both seen fairly steady growth (recessions not withstanding) in real dollar terms for decades.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Any response?

  • Shirley Knott||

    Of course not. He prefers ungrounded assertions and facts he makes up.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tariffs are not all the trade restrictions. In fact, I already cited where EU tariffs were about 3%.

    EU trade restrictions include regulations, taxes, government bans, no US constitutional protection reciprocity, price fixing, subsidies, etc.

    Any response?

    Come on LynchPin477.

  • LynchPin1477||

    The trade agreements mentioned above, including the EU common market, address others issues besides tariffs, including regulations and IP laws. They are part of imperfect and incremental, but nonetheless successful efforts to make trade easier and freer that have been ongoing in various forms since the 1970s. They have been, on net, successful in making trade easier. Do you have evidence that suggests trade has gotten harder and less free? Can you point any statements that Trump has made, other than one offer that may or may not have been serious to eliminate trade restrictions, that his tariffs are aimed an attempt to force other countries to ease up on trade restrictions and not, as he has said multiple times in public, and attempt to prop up preferred US industries?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    More rules make trade freer?

    The more rules, the more money that businesses have to spend to comply.

    The more rules, the more taxes that have to be paid to enforce the rules.

    The more rules, the more rules to circumvent to trade with another party.

    The EU is loaded down with massive rules that stifle their markets. They are socialist so it fits.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Every country in the world has economic regulations. The point of things like NAFTA, TPP, and the EU common market is not to do away with all those regulations - that's a nice dream from a libertarian perspective but it's obviously not on the table - the point is to normalize those regulations to some degree to make international trade easier. And yeah, that requires negotiation and compromise and it can be messy and complicated. Is it pure free trade? Of course not. Do some entrenched interests on both sides take advantage of the process? Yeah. But it's the best we can do right now and agreements like these have, on net, benefited huge numbers of people and moved us to easier, freer exchange across countries.

    I can and I do dismiss the comment that Trump made to eliminate trade restrictions if other countries did the same. He never campaigned on reducing barriers to trade, he campaigned on a false promise of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US. That's the reason for the tariffs. If he honestly thinks that levying a bunch of new tariffs and being an all around asshole to some of our closest allies is a good starting point for eliminating trade barriers, or almost any other kind of negotiation, then he's an idiot. You don't sucker punch someone and make fun of their mom and then expect them to bargain with you in good faith.

  • gaoxiaen||

    It worked for Reagan's Star Wars plan.

  • smalleyd||

    Reason has a big blind spot when it comes to trade and immigration. They think that because we haven't been fighting back for the past couple of decades that other nations haven't engaged in such tactics. This is clearly the cheap labor/imports wing of the libertarian movement.

  • Shirley Knott||

    How are cheap labor and cheap imports bad? The point of trade is consumption. Jobs are a cost not a benefit. Buy low is always better than buy high.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "The point of trade is consumption." No its not!

    The point of trade is that all parties of the trade get something they want out of the deal.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Which is my point. Trade is always in service of consumption, even if it's a part consumed to make a machine that will make a machine that will make a product that is desired.
    Consumption means something more than 'eat' you know.
    Or perhaps you do not.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    What about trade that involves services and no products?

  • LynchPin1477||

    I'll admit that there is more to life than material consumption. A sense of purpose is important, maybe even more so after having met some base level of material comfort. I think there is a bit of romanticism about how much meaning people derived from some of the jobs that have since moved overseas or been replaced by technology, but that doesn't imply that everyone would be happy paying low prices for consumer goods while working in low-paying service job or collecting some sort of welfare benefit.

    But if that really is a problem, trade restrictions aren't a good response. If there has to be some sort of government solution, it would be better to use the money that is otherwise lost via tariffs and trade restrictions on at least somewhat productive government jobs programs or training. Or, you know, we could reduce economic restrictions here in the US so that it's easier for displaced workers to find new work.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Dont forget to provide that citation based on your comment above.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    What some of these fools today apparently don't understand is that you have to be a producer in order to be a consumer. If you're an unemployed layabout for long enough, pretty soon you're going to be doing the absolutely bare minimum of consumption.

    For all his flaws, Henry Ford understood this. He wanted his employees to be well off enough that they could buy his cars they were helping to assemble. He knew it would be good for both them, and him!

  • sarcasmic||

    What protectionists fools don't understand is that the economy is not static, and that labor is finite. When protectionist policies "save jobs," they are locking workers into those jobs by discouraging them from producing something else. This prevents everyone from becoming wealthier through comparative advantage.

    The logical conclusion of protectionism is self sufficiency. There is another word for self sufficiency. It's poverty.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Precisely.

  • Ricardo Vacilon||

    "If A is in such a way more efficient than B that he needs for the production of 1 unit of the commodity p 3 hours compared with B's 5, and for the production of 1 unit of q 2 hours compared with B's 4, then both will gain if A confines himself to producing q and leaves B to produce p. If each of them gives 60 hours to producing p and 60 hours to producing q, the result of A's labor is 20p + 30q; of B's, 12p + 15q; and for both together, 32p + 45q. If, however, A confines himself to producing q alone, he produces 60q in 120 hours, while B, if he confines himself to producing p, produces in the same time 24 p. The result of their activities is then 24p +60q, which, as p has for A a substitution ratio of 3/2q and for B one of 5/4q, signifies a larger output than 32p + 45q. Therefore it is manifest that the division of labor brings advantages to all who take part in it."~L. von Mises
    So, if the division of labor results in increased prosperity for the participants, any retrogression in the division of labor (e.g. tariffs) must result in impoverishment. Q.E.D.! If only more people would study economics, no one but a small number of people hoping to gain immorally at the expense of the majority would support tariffs.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Labor is not finite, fool.

    Labor gains and loses workers every day.

    Its like you took a freshman class and don't even know enough to be dangerous.

  • sarcasmic||

    Finite does not mean static. It means not infinite.

    You didn't even take a freshman class, or you would know what comparative advantage means.

    You're not even dangerous. You're willfully ignorant.

  • smalleyd||

    Cheap labor is great when you don't have a massive welfare apparatus. Milton Friedman understood this. But Reason likes to ignore him when it's not convenient.

    It's great to be glib about jobs when you have one with minimal threat of losing one. That not withstanding, cheap goods are great as long as the deficits that maybe run are sustainable. Or if the noble trading partner isn't violating your IP or erecting barriers on their side.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Shorter smalleyd:

    'Please renew my membership in Libertarians For Tariffs And Protectionism, and I choose for my buy-one-get-one-free membership bonus Libertarians For Bigoted, Cruel, Authoritarian Immigration Policies.'

  • Calidissident||

    The US's tariffs are about as high or higher than most other major countries, most of Trump's justifications (possibly excepting China, though his policy there is still counter-productive) are cherrypicking to make it look like we're getting screwed and provide cover for his moronic protectionism.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tariffs are not the sole trade restriction.

    EU used to have relatively low tariffs at 3% but their regulation and taxes packed on costs to almost every product and service.

  • smalleyd||

    Cheap labor is great when you don't have a massive welfare apparatus. Milton Friedman understood this. But Reason likes to ignore him when it's not convenient.

    It's great to be glib about jobs when you have one with minimal threat of losing one. That not withstanding, cheap goods are great as long as the deficits that maybe run are sustainable. Or if the noble trading partner isn't violating your IP or erecting barriers on their side.

  • MarkLastname||

    Friedman was talking about immigration. Foreign trading partners aren't on US welfare, idiot.

  • smalleyd||

    You missed the conversation above where we are talking about immigration and trading, moron.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Are Congressional Republicans Ready To Fight Trump's Tariff Madness?
    Is Congress finally ready to get into the fight?

    Elected Republican put their manhood into lockboxes long ago. That's likely why they spend so much time fondling gun barrels.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    This has been a great meeting of Libertarians For Tariffs And Protectionism, but isn't it time to convene the meeting of Libertarians For Bigoted, Cruel, Authoritarian Immigration Policies?

    Carry on, clingers. And stick with the schedule. After the immigration meeting, it will be time for Libertarians For Government Micromanagement Of Wombs And Certain Health Care Facilities.

  • Curly4||

    The republicans are adding to the possibility that Trump will fail to get a new trade agreement and put the US trade in greater trouble than it is now. I can understand the democrats stand for they want Trump to fail even at all cost. They seem to be ready to do anything that to get Trump out of office.
    Republicans are you trying to elect a democrat in 2020? And help the democrats get the blue wave that they thought that they will get this year?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    They seem to be ready to do anything that to get Trump out of office.

    In other words, they are informed, educated patriots. Good to know. Thank you.

  • sarcasmic||

    Trump supporters would be freaking out if a Democrat started a trade war. They'd see the higher prices and lost jobs, and be calling for his head. But when their team does it they shower him with praise. They're just like progressives. Principals, not principles.

  • Michael Cook||

    American CNG would be competitive with Russian natural gas in helping to keep Germans warm if only Russkies weren't so damn devious. Forget their "meddling" in the 2016 election--for them that was just probing for weakness and the possible chance to make money through political blackmail. Deep Meddling by Russians and others flexes its muscle financing environmentalist wacko groups to stop the building of port facilities so that American fossil fuels CAN'T be exported.

    Natural gas really gets fiddled with in terms of political hypocrisy because once in the pipeline it is hard to track. A company named Burisma has a huge contract to keep Germans warm with gas because Merkel destroyed nuclear and coal power production to please her Green Party (who were also probably funded by outsiders.) Burisma has offices in Cyprus and Kiev. Its product arrives from gas fields in Eastern Ukraine which appear to be controlled by Russian entities. Searching the Internet it is impossible to tell who really controls Burisma anymore. Originally it was one oligarch pal of the Clintons. An American named Hunter Biden is on the board of directors.

    It could be that Germany's whole object with the Burisma contract was to appear to be in compliance with some sanctions vs. Moscow even while building Nordstream II pipeline direct from Russia around Poland.
    BTW, Mexico's natural gas co. has real headaches. How do you keep honest books when there are 47 known illegal taps on the largest pipeline?

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