For way too long Congress has abrogated its responsibilities to its constituents, the Constitution, and this country. I’m of the mind that the original intent of our forefathers was that Congress would make laws and the executive branch would carry them out and do other things to care for the country as required by the law or that might arise from carrying out those laws. That is NOT working. The executive branch has slowly gained the edge on the other two branches either through executive orders or clandestine operations. This isn’t a Republican or Democratic thing, it’s a thing that many presidents have done for their own benefit, and none more than donald trump. (I’m guessing that he went to all cash in his stock holding sometime last week, but we’ll never know.)
Trade wars are bad… No one will come out a winner. But, perhaps a real Trade War won’t happen, I mean, why should China retaliate? We want their materials and we will pay for them. Who is going to go without their iPhone? I’m not an expert and so I’m sure my friends who are trumpist fan-boys will cry “Bullshit!” But here’s the short term impact…things are going to cost Americans more money. A tariff is a thing that gets added on to the price of a good. So if an iPhone “costs” $900 now, when you add a tariff that cost will go up. Another example is Boeing. That huge aerospace manufacturing company buys a lot of raw material from China, those airplanes will probably now cost more…who knows whether Boeing will be able to pass on those increases to their airline customers, but if they do, the airlines will pass those costs on to us, the flying public. And so, trump says…we will build our own stuff, and we may do so, but not at the cost that they do in China. So those high prices will remain, even if and because making steel in America is more expensive than it is in China. And how long would the rebuilding of a steel industry take? And what about the environment which I am sure will be pummeled during a steel industry sprint. But what if trump changes his mind? The new plants will then be as empty as the old.
Posit this: What if China stopped buying from us and start buying from the new Pacific Rim treaty organization, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)? China is a huge market for U.S. products and I’m sure that is what the trumpists are hoping will drive China to cooperate. Not sure what the definition of “cooperate” is but if the Chines do cooperate, will trump get rid of the tariffs? That won’t help the steel workers. But what if the Chinese begin to target their products for sale in CPTPP countries and perhaps make America irrelevant in Pacific Rim trade.
Now I want to be the first to say that the claim trump makes about the theft of Intellectual Property (IP) is grounded in truth and it’s not a new thing. All you have to do is look at Russian and Chinese military aircraft which look stunningly like U.S. aircraft. And software…wow, you can buy unlicensed/illegal copies of some of the most expensive software in the world for less than $20 in India and China. And internet technology…like everything the U.S. has been cloned in China. So why doesn’t our government standup to help industry remain secure. Theses are out and out thefts from superb U.S. companies, stolen. But, for some reason our government has never really taken the bull by the horns for internet security. For instance, identities are stolen everyday and yet THAT SEEMS TO BE OKAY with industry and the government. The banks and credit unions reimburse us for any lost funds in credit card system hacks and few, if any, are prosecuted. Millions and millions of records are stolen each year and we classify this as “cost of doing business.” A complete abrogation of responsibilities from the executive branch as well as congress. Theft of our data is just wrong but industry won’t or can’t stop it and government is no help. So now…these thefts are justification for tariffs. Bullshit.