Trump, Tariffs and Truth

By Bill Moore

If one were to listen to the Left and their Democratic partners, one would believe Trump is wrecking the economy of the world by his tariff proposal.  Listen to them and you would believe the economy of the United States will collapse as the rest of the world retaliates over our proposed tariffs. The facts of the matter tell a different story.

By definition a tariff is a tax or duty to be paid on a particular class of imports or exports. They are usually put in place by governments to protect their industries that are in their infancy or are unable to compete against companies in other nations due to government interference or subsidies.

When President Trump took office he swore to change the unfair tariffs placed that were placed on our goods and the “sweetheart deals” given to other governments as we import their goods. Trump has been good to his word to the dismay of the Left. What are the facts that so upset the Left and feed their predictions of a doomsday for our economy?

A look at the NAFTA Treaty with Canada can easily explain why the Canadians are upset with Trumps attempts to change the treaty.  The US and its companies must pay 25% tariff on cars and steel imported to Canada. The US charges Canada 2.5% on their imported cars to the United States. Steel, Aluminum, Copper and HVAC equipment have no tariffs when they enter the US.  When we send our goods to Canada we pay substantial tariffs. Aluminum and HVAC equipment are subject to 45% import tariff. Copper has a 48% tariff on US imports.  Our Vacuums and cable boxes are subject to a 35% tariff upon entering Canada while similar products entering the US face a 3.5% tariff. Our TV’s have a 45% import tariff to the US while any Canadian TV entering the US has a 5% tariff added. No one mentions the fact Canada has a 270% tariff on US milk. No wonder the Canadian government yells foul when we want to change NAFTA.

The next area that seems to upset our friends on the Left is our tariff threats to the European Union (EU). This is another unfair agreement that has hurt US industry or farmers. The EU has a 33%tariff on US Dairy Products. Compare that to the 17.5 tariff on EU dairy products entering the US.  The EU has a 10% tariff on US cars imported to the European Union. As a contrast we have a 2.5% tariff on EU cars entering the US.

China has been a beneficiary of our trade or tariff differences. Again China puts a tariff on items like our motorcycles and video / digital equipment that is about 30%. They use other methods of discouraging our imports. For example they have a policy called Quarantine Inspections on American Agricultural Goods. This allows them to keep the goods on the docks under protective quarantine allowing the goods to often spoil.

These are but a few examples of many that explain why Trump feels the need to place US import Tariffs in place while we renegotiate these tariffs to make our exports more attractive on a level playing field.  By doing so, we protect our industries and keep our jobs in this country.  Americans can find work at decent paying positions. An example of Job growth would be US steel announcing a $750 million investment to revitalize their Gary Plant that is 110 years of age. It currently employs 3800 workers and the expansion and installation of new equipment will create more jobs and help the local and national economy.

Is it working? No country is going to like renegotiating these agreements while the current ones put them at a big advantage. However, the EU, Canada, China and other nations have initially done the expected. They started to add additional Tariffs to US goods in a face saving action.  However, they are also beginning to renegotiate these agreements to create a level playing field. This is exactly what Trump expected, and what the Left fears. Remember they do not want better economic status for the US nor Trump to succeed. Their goal is simple. Trump fails; they retake the government, and continue to move toward a one government world.