I know that we get nothing but rosy news coming out of Dear Leader’s mouth….we hear how much better our economy will be when he wins his trade war with the world….we will have a strong economy, more jobs, better wages, yada yada…..
But you know that there are consequences for these tariffs that have been instituted…..think not?
As the China-US tariff volley continues—China on Wednesday announced a 25% tariff on an additional $16 billion worth of US goods in retaliation for our similar move, reports CNBC—the consequences have become real for one South Carolina company. The State reports TV-maker Element Electronics is citing the tariffs as the reason it is essentially closing its doors: It intends to shut down its Winnsboro plant and lay off 126 of its 134 employees, it said in a letter to the state’s Department of Employment and Workforce—though it does have a glimmer of hope.
The letter explains the tariffs hit television components from China that it relies on, and the layoffs will commence in October unless it can get its parts off the tariff list. CNN Money cites a tweet from the company that suggests optimism: It writes that as the “only USA assembler of televisions, we believe the inclusion of our parts on the list … is accidental and resolvable.” It’s working to have the parts removed from the list. The State notes the layoffs would be a big blow for Fairfield County, which counted Element Electronics as its biggest employer, having recently suffered the loss of a Walmart and a textile mill.
The longer these tariffs are in place the more damage it will do to the workers and the consumers of this country…..will the “art of the deal” win out?
Personally, I feel that Our Dear Leader is gambling and hoping that he is right in his economic views…..
I have been a devotee to economist Henry George since the 1980’s……and he touches on tariffs in his book ……..The problem identified by Henry George, in Protection or Free Trade, is that of poverty, and more specifically, wages and unemployment. What follows from that is George’s systematic and all-embracing dissertation of the effects that protectionist and free-trade policies have on the wealth of a nation and its individuals. Naturally, he arrives at a conclusion that is decidedly in favor of free trade — as opposed to protective prescriptions — as a surefire solution to the ills of poverty.
George develops his focal point early on by posing the essential question: Are protective tariffs helpful to those who make their living via labor? He considers this the “tariff question,” calling it the “great political question of the immediate future” (George 1886, p. 3). He does, in fact, dare to say that he approves of the ends promoted by the protective tariff advocates when the ends sought are the promotion of higher wages and prosperous employment. Nevertheless, he maintains that his position is to objectively determine whether or not protective tariffs are in fact favorable to those ends.
I would say that if more people knew of Henry George and his theories then we could do away with a lot of noise around trade and tariffs…..but that may be asking too much for it would require reading……a technique that is slowly disappearing……
Turn The Page!