Elites Furious with Trump’s Tariffs Because They Work So Well
Aside from the Russiagate fantasy that has enchanted Washington for the past two years, no other issue infuriates DC elites like Trump’s tariffs. When they bother to take off their Russiagate inspector goggles for a moment, the elites rapidly begin foaming at the mouth over tariffs.
Some Republican free-trade cultists even claim that the new tariffs against China are proof that Trump is a secret Democrat – as if Democrats are not also howling mad over the tariffs.
At some point, you have to wonder if all of the jobs and prosperity resulting from Trump’s “America First” policies will start to sink in with these people.
People’s eyes start to glaze over when you talk about tariffs, but they’re really not that difficult to understand. A simple example is college tuition rates.
American students pay one rate to go to college and get a degree from American universities. Those same universities charge foreign students a higher tuition rate.
With a finite number of college slots available every year, our own people receive a price advantage over foreigners (good luck getting a college administrator to ever phrase it that way, however).
When President Trump imposes a 25% tariff on widgets from China, the American consumer has to pay more to purchase that product. The tariff is, in fact a tax. The American consumer then has a choice to make.
They can purchase the Made in China widget and pay the tax, or shop for a better price on a comparable Made in the USA product.
If they don’t purchase the Made in China widget, the Chinese don’t make a sale and no tariff is paid.
Without guaranteed access to the American market through our dumb free trade deals, factories are beginning to abandon China.
Companies were setting up shop in China because they would practically be paying slave labor wages to workers and had a guarantee that their goods would be sold tax-free in America. The Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama administrations demonstrated the folly of free trade agreements with nations like China that cheat at every opportunity.
Our manufacturing sector collapsed during those administrations. By the first term of Barack Obama’s presidency, we were losing as many as 80 manufacturing plants every single month to China, Mexico and other countries. Our middle class was dying as a result.
While “trade protectionism” sounds spooky, it simply means that the US government is favoring American products and American workers over foreign products and foreign workers. Why shouldn’t we put our own people and businesses first?
The US went through a limited economic miracle in the 1980s due to President Reagan’s trade protectionism. The “Carter malaise” was overcome by rewriting trade deals with Japan, which was dumping cars on the US market at the time.
Other trade deals and protective policies imposed by Reagan, accompanied by historic tax cuts, turned the US economy around. The free-trade cultists at the Cato Institute wrote, after Reagan left office, that the “long, dark night of trade protectionism was finally over.”
George HW Bush would save America from all those jobs and prosperity!
President Trump’s trade protectionism is simply a return to the historic Republican Party’s principle of putting American workers and manufacturers first. America became the world’s manufacturing powerhouse between 1860 and 1930 because of Republican tariffs that incentivized, subsidized and prioritized American manufacturers over foreign ones.
Abraham Lincoln adopted the “American System” of tariffs, as it was known then, in 1860. Because of the jobs and prosperity that resulted, the American voters elected 13 Republican presidents over the next 70 years, and only two Democrats.
Will Trump’s tariffs hurt some American consumers in the short term? Sure. The cheap Made in China crap that we’re addicted to buying at Walmart may become more expensive for a while.
An economic engine that was destroyed over a 30-year period can’t be rebuilt overnight. But we’ve already seen the early results of Trump’s tariffs and economic protectionism.
Job openings outnumber the unemployed. GDP is up, joblessness is down. Americans have a more positive outlook for the future today than they’ve had in decades.
The elites are infuriated that Trump is putting American interests ahead of foreigners’ interests. They’re obviously on the wrong side of this argument, and that makes them even angrier.