Tariffs as an international policy tool

Posted by  $  blarman 2 weeks, 4 days ago to Politics
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Has Donald Trump hit upon a very persuasive and effective international policy tool? The effects of China's tariffs are somewhat up for debate, but there is no question that Mexico isn't doing anything to stop the hordes of illegal immigrants from crossing our borders. As they rely so heavily on trade with the US, time will tell (and probably very quickly) if this will be successful.
SOURCE URL: https://www.theblaze.com/news/trump-declares-tariffs-on-mexico

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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 2 weeks ago
    The tariff war is a dangerous game. It definitely has the possible positive outcomes of getting China to capitulate on its abuse of intellectual property and of getting Mexico to enforce its borders. The danger is that China and Mexico don't change, and we get stuck with the bill. Trump has upped the ante to play in the global arena. Do the American people (including me) have the stomach for it? The answer comes down one of the major points of Atlas Shrugged. How much is one willing to tolerate before shrugging entirely? It took a lot longer for Hank and Dagny to say "No more!" than it did for the others. America's founders acted long before situations got as offensive as they did in Atlas Shrugged, although it was quite intolerable for them before and during the Revolutionary War.
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    • Posted by  $  2 weeks ago
      It is a different style of politics completely. It is a policy much akin to what the Founding Fathers wanted - and one expressly noted by George Washington in his Farewell Address when he advocated avoidance of "entangling alliances". We've spent so much time and so many years since WW II entangling ourselves in the affairs of the rest of the World by trying to play watchdog and peacekeeper that we don't know how to go back to a true "America First" policy of international affairs.

      It will be interesting to see how things play out. We have all the natural resources to be self-sufficient with a few possible exceptions (such as rare-earth metals needed for the production of cell phones). We've been taking advantage of the slave labor rates of many nations such as China in order to get cheap goods - but they in turn have been stealing our technology. It seems to me that the policies of trying to engage them via trade have only emboldened them and allowed them to steal even more, so a change in tactics is necessary IMHO.
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 2 weeks ago
        The entangling alliances aspect is one reason I cited the Star Trek Prime Directive as being a proper Objectivist foreign policy in a different thread earlier today.
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  • Posted by GaryL 2 weeks ago
    Tariff war is a BS term. Any country that deals with another country should be dealing on equal grounds. Charge 10% on US goods coming into your country and we charge 10% on your goods coming into ours.
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  • Posted by BCRinFremont 2 weeks, 3 days ago
    When and by whom are tariffs first paid? I have seen several importers to the US say that they pay at the port. So, the exporter will only be hurt if the amount of exports fall due to the importer reducing amount imported. Of course, when the importer pays the tariff, the cost may be passed on to the end user.
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    • Posted by  $  2 weeks, 3 days ago
      When our nation was first founded, tariffs were the primary (read only) source of revenue for the federal government. It encouraged them to think about the fine line which is putting America first because if the tariffs are too high, you affect imports of goods and services but if the tariffs are too low, you don't have the necessary revenue to run the government.

      Personally, I would prefer to see the US go back to tariffs as the primary revenue source for the federal government (and the elimination of the personal income tax) because it would force us to divest ourselves from welfare systems. On the international front, I also see tariffs as an effective tool in both trade and policy negotiations. I would completely support tariff levels based on the trading partner's "freedom" score: open markets, free elections, adherence to protection for individual rights, etc.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 weeks, 2 days ago
        This makes very good points. I'm completely opposed to taxing trade, but by I'm only slightly less opposed to taxing income. Shifting taxes from income, esp by increasing standard deduction and thereby simplifying taxes, to tariffs isn't really that bad. If they did the reverse, cut tariffs and reduced the standard deduction, people would be kvetching about that too.
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        • Posted by freedomforall 2 weeks, 2 days ago
          "people would be kvetching about that too"
          It's still stealing.
          I'd like to see a tax revolution that destroys the fed and the 16th amendment. Hell, they already spend double what is stolen from producers, why not run the fedgov entirely on tariffs and credit ?
          Lay off everyone who works for the federal government except defense and those needed to maintain computers that issue social security credits. The con-gress already gets paid ten-fold more than they earn. Cut it to zero and send the looters home to loot the locals.
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      • Posted by  $  exceller 2 weeks, 2 days ago
        When I first visited Japan about 30 years ago, I was totally floored seeing the exorbitant tariffs the Japanese were charging on imports.

        I saw a Ford Mustang in a show window which was priced more than twice of the US price tag.

        I ran out of some Chanel cosmetics and replaced them at three times the price we pay in the US, let alone in France.

        I used to work for a company that had worldwide subsidiaries, one of them in Tokyo.

        They sent me there to talk to Japanese trade officials to solicit better terms for the company's products. I also saw the US consul there who said that "we are not even on the mat" when it comes to competition.

        To my understanding not much changed. The president said the negotiations went well but the Japanese did not confirm that. Which probably means not significant progress in the trade balance.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 1 week, 5 days ago
    Screw China, they are already becoming a menace in the Pacific ocean. US companies can go to other Pacific Rim countries for manufactured goods. The Chinese love to play the long game and they are thieves. As for Mexico, I would offer them to help build a wall on their border with Central America if they don't agree or make progress on the building a wall, then tariffs.
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  • Posted by  $  exceller 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    They are already screaming in CA how the tariffs will ruin the CA economy.

    No avocados! No produce!

    Well, produce them in the Central Valley. After all CA supplies a large percentage of produce to the nation.

    I trust Trump includes cars assembled in Mexico by European manufacturers which are imported to the country as luxury items, and hit by luxury taxes thanks to Sacramento.
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