Author Topic: Why I'm not against tariffs.  (Read 6601 times)

better late

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #50 on: July 03, 2018, 05:38:52 PM »
I've been pondering what happens if tariffs reduce the amount of cash that flows into China and that reduction in turn reduces Chinese investments in US real estate, debt and equities. Any prohibitive taxes or the like imposed by their govt could further deter money that would typically be directed to US. Wondering if that's enough to really screw us.

scottish

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #51 on: July 03, 2018, 07:06:09 PM »
Free trade is good. 
Trade should benefit all parties when conducted in an open and 'fair' manner.
Trade prevents wars.

That all being granted, there may come a point in a broken trading relationship where a 'do over' is required.  Have we reached that point with China?  I'm not educated or smart enough to know, but I grant that it is possible.

I don't think for a minute that Trump himself really has much of a coherent plan here, but I do recognize that China has abused the trading relationship by pervasive government sponsored theft of IP from companies that they force to 'partner' with domestic entities as the price for having any opportunity to market in China.  Once they have stolen the IP, they kick out the foreign company and just make the product themselves.     

Trade is such a complex welter of rules and interconnected relationships with manufacturing chains and raw materials vs manufactured products that I don't know who can really claim to understand how to fix big parts without disrupting the whole, at least for a time.  Perhaps a hard reset will help, I don't know.   But by playing bad cop, perhaps in a year or two, the next person can benefit by making deals that are better on the whole than the status quo. One step back for two steps forward and whatnot. 

It is very possible that China has more to fear from a disrupted trade relationship than do we.  For all of their vaunted economic might, they are facing some very serious issues with their economy, and that could lead to serious social upheaval. That may motivate them to move toward a more equitable trade relationship.

I don't buy this argument at all.

As an analogy, in software development there's a tendency for a software team to want to rewrite the product from scratch and 'do it right this time.'
But this approach is doomed.   The delivery is late, you have to go through the whole initial set of quality problems again, and then you have to try and convince your customers they should pay to upgrade to a product with less maturity, less features and more bugs.

Trade is even worse.   Destroying all the existing trade agreements and hoping to come up with something better is a colossal waste of time and effort that could be better spent on other things, like fixing health care, fixing the country's finances, improving competitiveness, ...

gentmach

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #52 on: July 04, 2018, 08:35:06 AM »
My hours at work have been cut in half due to the Tariff business. I've been negatively affected but understand that things weren't so great for everyone.

If the big trade deals are 20 yaers old or so, we have something similar to what Thomas Jefferson called "The Tyranny of the Dead." Essentially we need to adapt to changing circumstances with new deals and discuss what was working and what wasn't working.

Yes, we have sacrificed the stable platform for choas for the time being. Stability can lead to stagnation though.

How many of us would even be discussing trade policies if Trump hadn't flipped the board over?

PDXTabs

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #53 on: July 04, 2018, 08:41:33 AM »
If the big trade deals are 20 yaers old or so, we have something similar to what Thomas Jefferson called "The Tyranny of the Dead." Essentially we need to adapt to changing circumstances with new deals and discuss what was working and what wasn't working.

That's a great idea, but it certainly isn't what Trump is doing. We could be taking a long, hard look at our trading relationship with China without destroying NAFTA, which will destroy the North American automobile manufacturing supply chain which has benefited everyone involved.

BookLoverL

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #54 on: July 05, 2018, 12:52:37 AM »
I do wonder if part of the issue isn't just that these big multi-lateral trade deals are popular now. If you make bilateral trade deals between pairs of countries, surely it'd be much easier to find a deal that genuinely benefits both sides, rather than having to balance the interests of multiple countries, even though there'd be more separate negotiations to do to get deals with the same number of countries.

I still think tariffs are useful in certain circumstances, and the outright dismissal of them by the mainstream neoliberal globalist view is unfair.

GuitarStv

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #55 on: July 05, 2018, 08:06:33 AM »
China has dumped steel for many years. They have subsidized it immensely with significant oversupply, and waived any sort of environmental concerns making US steel non-competitive. Prior to that the US government subsidized the industry overseas in Asia and Europe to "help them" rebuild. We are idiots, we try to be nice but just end up getting kicked in the stomach. Seriously WTF.

I am completely 100% okay going after countries that are dumping. How much dumping has Canada and Iceland been up to lately?

Canada caps imports of US dairy products using a 270% tariff over a cap in order to protect their own farmers.

Which we agreed to when we signed NAFTA.

Really? NAFTA has been in force now for 25 years, but Canadian dairy tariffs are still in place.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/06/trump-canada-dairy/562508/

Don't get me wrong: T.rump doesn't know s*** from shinola, but it doesn't mean he's wrong here.

Canadian consumers would benefit from a change.

We want good cheese, not that American velveeta stuff.   Eh.

Better prices would be good though.

I'm not entirely sure that the US would make much money selling dairy to Canada even without the tariffs to be honest.

It was mentioned earlier, but in Canada you're not allowed to sell dairy products pumped full of growth hormones as is typical of US dairy.  There are different standards in different provinces, but antibiotic usage in Canada is much more strictly measured and tested than in the US.  Because of this, most of the milk currently made in the US wouldn't be eligible for sale across the border anyway . . . so I don't believe that there would be significant benefit to Canadian consumers.

Wexler

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #56 on: July 05, 2018, 09:14:09 AM »
My hours at work have been cut in half due to the Tariff business. I've been negatively affected but understand that things weren't so great for everyone.

If the big trade deals are 20 yaers old or so, we have something similar to what Thomas Jefferson called "The Tyranny of the Dead." Essentially we need to adapt to changing circumstances with new deals and discuss what was working and what wasn't working.

Yes, we have sacrificed the stable platform for choas for the time being. Stability can lead to stagnation though.

How many of us would even be discussing trade policies if Trump hadn't flipped the board over?

Gentmach-did you vote for Trump?  If so, I think you could at least make up some of your lost income in the form of paid meals with New York Times reporters.  They have an insatiable thirst for articles in the Trumpenfreude genre, or "Look At How Trump Has Screwed Over His Supporters But They Still Think He's Their Savior For Reasons That Are Definitely About Economic Anxiety."  I think those meals have to take place in diners in the heartland, though, so that the reporter can condescendingly point out the downward mobility of the fellow Trump supporters surrounding them.



Cromacster

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #57 on: July 05, 2018, 09:45:34 AM »
China has dumped steel for many years. They have subsidized it immensely with significant oversupply, and waived any sort of environmental concerns making US steel non-competitive. Prior to that the US government subsidized the industry overseas in Asia and Europe to "help them" rebuild. We are idiots, we try to be nice but just end up getting kicked in the stomach. Seriously WTF.

I am completely 100% okay going after countries that are dumping. How much dumping has Canada and Iceland been up to lately?

Canada caps imports of US dairy products using a 270% tariff over a cap in order to protect their own farmers.

Which we agreed to when we signed NAFTA.

Really? NAFTA has been in force now for 25 years, but Canadian dairy tariffs are still in place.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/06/trump-canada-dairy/562508/

Don't get me wrong: T.rump doesn't know s*** from shinola, but it doesn't mean he's wrong here.

Canadian consumers would benefit from a change.

We want good cheese, not that American velveeta stuff.   Eh.

Better prices would be good though.

Talk to the Manitoban's, they buy the stuff (velveeta) by the pallet.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #58 on: July 05, 2018, 10:01:23 AM »
Tariffs are a consumption tax.  The less you consume goods and services the lesser the impact of the tax on you personally.   I would much prefer higher consumption taxes rather than income taxes.

Tariffs are less like a sales tax or VAT and more like a subsidy paid by consumers to producers on one side of a line. Producers on the other side of the line are penalized, even if they are more efficient. So if it costs $500 to manufacture an item in the U.S. and $400 overseas, the price of the item goes up for consumers and the domestic producer (if they exist) pockets the money. The net result is consumers buying fewer items, as desired, but only because the price of everything has gone up and they now have less to spend. This is how the Great Depression occurred: rising tariffs plus rising interest rates equals a slowdown.

bwall

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #59 on: July 05, 2018, 10:59:12 AM »

I'm not entirely sure that the US would make much money selling dairy to Canada even without the tariffs to be honest.

It was mentioned earlier, but in Canada you're not allowed to sell dairy products pumped full of growth hormones as is typical of US dairy.  There are different standards in different provinces, but antibiotic usage in Canada is much more strictly measured and tested than in the US.  Because of this, most of the milk currently made in the US wouldn't be eligible for sale across the border anyway . . . so I don't believe that there would be significant benefit to Canadian consumers.

Which is all the more reason to remove the tariffs! Very few mass producers in the USA are interested in producing to those standards, but some do already. Why not let them in? The Canadian consumer would benefit through lower prices and greater selection.

The way that the tariffs on dairy in Canada is implemented, it is just a government enforced wealth transfer from the consumer to the producer.

GuitarStv

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #60 on: July 05, 2018, 11:32:42 AM »

I'm not entirely sure that the US would make much money selling dairy to Canada even without the tariffs to be honest.

It was mentioned earlier, but in Canada you're not allowed to sell dairy products pumped full of growth hormones as is typical of US dairy.  There are different standards in different provinces, but antibiotic usage in Canada is much more strictly measured and tested than in the US.  Because of this, most of the milk currently made in the US wouldn't be eligible for sale across the border anyway . . . so I don't believe that there would be significant benefit to Canadian consumers.

Which is all the more reason to remove the tariffs! Very few mass producers in the USA are interested in producing to those standards, but some do already. Why not let them in? The Canadian consumer would benefit through lower prices and greater selection.

The way that the tariffs on dairy in Canada is implemented, it is just a government enforced wealth transfer from the consumer to the producer.

My dad's a farmer, and I've had a long time to think about Canada's rather odd milk quota system.  It has quite a history, starting back in the 50s I believe as a supply management idea.  There are arguments for and against it, but generally the one given for it is thus:

If the US was given full, unfettered access to Canadian dairy markets, there would no longer be any Canadian dairy farmers.  I bet that within a year they would entirely be wiped out.  This becomes a pretty serious problem if several years down the road there's a shortage in milk products in the US.  You can't just create a new dairy farm in a couple months to meet that demand.  That's why we have supply management on several food items (dairy, eggs, chicken).

It's also important to note that the US has always had tariffs on dairy going into the country from Canada (in the range of 17 - 20% if I remember correctly).  It's weird that Trump is demanding an end to Canadian tariffs but staying quiet about the US ones.

toganet

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #61 on: July 05, 2018, 12:20:03 PM »
Free trade is good. 
Trade should benefit all parties when conducted in an open and 'fair' manner.
Trade prevents wars.

That all being granted, there may come a point in a broken trading relationship where a 'do over' is required.  Have we reached that point with China?  I'm not educated or smart enough to know, but I grant that it is possible.

I don't think for a minute that Trump himself really has much of a coherent plan here, but I do recognize that China has abused the trading relationship by pervasive government sponsored theft of IP from companies that they force to 'partner' with domestic entities as the price for having any opportunity to market in China.  Once they have stolen the IP, they kick out the foreign company and just make the product themselves.     

Trade is such a complex welter of rules and interconnected relationships with manufacturing chains and raw materials vs manufactured products that I don't know who can really claim to understand how to fix big parts without disrupting the whole, at least for a time.  Perhaps a hard reset will help, I don't know.   But by playing bad cop, perhaps in a year or two, the next person can benefit by making deals that are better on the whole than the status quo. One step back for two steps forward and whatnot. 

It is very possible that China has more to fear from a disrupted trade relationship than do we.  For all of their vaunted economic might, they are facing some very serious issues with their economy, and that could lead to serious social upheaval. That may motivate them to move toward a more equitable trade relationship.

I don't buy this argument at all.

As an analogy, in software development there's a tendency for a software team to want to rewrite the product from scratch and 'do it right this time.'
But this approach is doomed.   The delivery is late, you have to go through the whole initial set of quality problems again, and then you have to try and convince your customers they should pay to upgrade to a product with less maturity, less features and more bugs.

Trade is even worse.   Destroying all the existing trade agreements and hoping to come up with something better is a colossal waste of time and effort that could be better spent on other things, like fixing health care, fixing the country's finances, improving competitiveness, ...

Excellent point.  This is another example of the Perfect being the enemy of the Good.  It's not really feasible to throw away everything and start with some "perfect" set of trade agreements.  For one thing, you'd never get everyone to agree on what's "perfect" so the deal would never happen.  Meanwhile, you'd be suffering along with the existing, now-outdated system.

Keep in mind, also, that we didn't start from a blank slate at some point in the past -- these deals have lineages going back hundreds of years.

So that's why we tend to see small, targeted changes over time vs. big deals.  Things like NAFTA and the TPP take a long time to negotiate, and are riddled with compromises and inefficiencies. 

Also, WRT China, think about where they were 30 years ago vs. where they are today.  Much of what the US (and the world) has tolerated from them is due to a desire to provide a safer path to modern economics and government than the scary visions that arose following Tiananmen Square.  That's not to say that was the right choice, or that everything has succeeded -- I don't think anyone is saying it's OK for China to steal IP or abuse its citizenry.  The question is what to do about it now.

BookLoverL

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #62 on: July 05, 2018, 12:51:49 PM »
YMMV, but I found this old article by John Michael Greer on the problems with free trade (written in 2016). I don't generally agree with him on everything, but I find his writing to be generally sound.

https://thearchdruidreport-archive.200605.xyz/2016/11/the-free-trade-fallacy.html

The link is to a mirror site because his original blog closed when he got fed up with the host site and he moved to a different blog with a new name.

bwall

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #63 on: July 05, 2018, 01:25:03 PM »
My dad's a farmer, and I've had a long time to think about Canada's rather odd milk quota system.  It has quite a history, starting back in the 50s I believe as a supply management idea.  There are arguments for and against it, but generally the one given for it is thus:

If the US was given full, unfettered access to Canadian dairy markets, there would no longer be any Canadian dairy farmers.  I bet that within a year they would entirely be wiped out.  This becomes a pretty serious problem if several years down the road there's a shortage in milk products in the US.  You can't just create a new dairy farm in a couple months to meet that demand.  That's why we have supply management on several food items (dairy, eggs, chicken).

It's also important to note that the US has always had tariffs on dairy going into the country from Canada (in the range of 17 - 20% if I remember correctly).  It's weird that Trump is demanding an end to Canadian tariffs but staying quiet about the US ones.

I understand that a country wants to keep food production in-house, so to speak. Nothing wrong with that, unless you go overboard, which to me it sounds like is the case with Canada and dairy (and, the same for coddled US sugar producers). Most dairy does well in cool climates, like are found along the US-Canadian border, rather than in warm southern US climates. So, I believe that Canada can produce dairy efficiently when placed on equal footing. And, a 20% tariff is high, but nowhere near 200%.

But, vested interests want to protect themselves and are willing to use any means available to do this, the most common of which is peddling half-truths and fear to the masses. As long as the people accept the propaganda that they are fed, then there is not much that can be done about it.

GuitarStv

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #64 on: July 05, 2018, 01:50:47 PM »
My dad's a farmer, and I've had a long time to think about Canada's rather odd milk quota system.  It has quite a history, starting back in the 50s I believe as a supply management idea.  There are arguments for and against it, but generally the one given for it is thus:

If the US was given full, unfettered access to Canadian dairy markets, there would no longer be any Canadian dairy farmers.  I bet that within a year they would entirely be wiped out.  This becomes a pretty serious problem if several years down the road there's a shortage in milk products in the US.  You can't just create a new dairy farm in a couple months to meet that demand.  That's why we have supply management on several food items (dairy, eggs, chicken).

It's also important to note that the US has always had tariffs on dairy going into the country from Canada (in the range of 17 - 20% if I remember correctly).  It's weird that Trump is demanding an end to Canadian tariffs but staying quiet about the US ones.

I understand that a country wants to keep food production in-house, so to speak. Nothing wrong with that, unless you go overboard, which to me it sounds like is the case with Canada and dairy (and, the same for coddled US sugar producers). Most dairy does well in cool climates, like are found along the US-Canadian border, rather than in warm southern US climates. So, I believe that Canada can produce dairy efficiently when placed on equal footing. And, a 20% tariff is high, but nowhere near 200%.

But, vested interests want to protect themselves and are willing to use any means available to do this, the most common of which is peddling half-truths and fear to the masses. As long as the people accept the propaganda that they are fed, then there is not much that can be done about it.

The 270% tariffs being bandied around are numbers charged on dairy over quota.  Below quota milk for example is tarriffed about 7%.  Remember when Trump quit the Transpacific Partnership?  The TPP give the US a chunk of dairy quota in that agreement.

Quote
Do U.S. dairy farmers sell to Canada?

Yes, bigly.

U.S. producers, who also benefit from subsidies and tariffs, exported about C$296 million ($227 million) in dairy goods to Canada last year, Statistics Canada data show. Canadian producers sold C$148.1 million in milk products in the opposite direction, a 2-to-1 U.S. trade surplus.

http://www.wisconsinagriculturist.com/dairy/does-canada-really-charge-270-tariff-milk



Does that still sound overboard . . . or is it beginning to sound more reasonable?
« Last Edit: July 05, 2018, 01:53:00 PM by GuitarStv »

bwall

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #65 on: July 05, 2018, 02:48:15 PM »

U.S. producers, who also benefit from subsidies and tariffs, exported about C$296 million ($227 million) in dairy goods to Canada last year, Statistics Canada data show. Canadian producers sold C$148.1 million in milk products in the opposite direction, a 2-to-1 U.S. trade surplus.

http://www.wisconsinagriculturist.com/dairy/does-canada-really-charge-270-tariff-milk

Does that still sound overboard . . . or is it beginning to sound more reasonable?

Still sounds unreasonable to me. Here's why, quoting the link above:

"Economists tend to loathe Canada’s system, saying that it means people pay more for staple foods. . . . . The existing dairy quota has become so valuable, worth billions of dollars, that killing it could ripple through the financial system and other sectors."

I find it unreasonable that a tax on the general population is worth billions of dollars to the recipients. Other people might find that acceptable and reasonable, though, for reasons of national pride or self interest. As Warren Buffett once said "It's difficult to convince a man of something if his salary depends on him not understanding it." YMMV. 

Kris

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #66 on: July 05, 2018, 05:07:52 PM »
Amusing and relevant:

gentmach

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #67 on: July 06, 2018, 03:17:26 PM »
My hours at work have been cut in half due to the Tariff business. I've been negatively affected but understand that things weren't so great for everyone.

If the big trade deals are 20 yaers old or so, we have something similar to what Thomas Jefferson called "The Tyranny of the Dead." Essentially we need to adapt to changing circumstances with new deals and discuss what was working and what wasn't working.

Yes, we have sacrificed the stable platform for choas for the time being. Stability can lead to stagnation though.

How many of us would even be discussing trade policies if Trump hadn't flipped the board over?

Gentmach-did you vote for Trump?  If so, I think you could at least make up some of your lost income in the form of paid meals with New York Times reporters.  They have an insatiable thirst for articles in the Trumpenfreude genre, or "Look At How Trump Has Screwed Over His Supporters But They Still Think He's Their Savior For Reasons That Are Definitely About Economic Anxiety."  I think those meals have to take place in diners in the heartland, though, so that the reporter can condescendingly point out the downward mobility of the fellow Trump supporters surrounding them.

Actually I voted Libertarian. I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary but then realized my friends would hang me out to dry after they got universal health Care.

RangerOne

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #68 on: July 06, 2018, 05:28:04 PM »
Tariffs are a consumption tax.  The less you consume goods and services the lesser the impact of the tax on you personally.   I would much prefer higher consumption taxes rather than income taxes.

The value of consumption taxes over income tax is a long debate. The problem with price hikes on goods due to a trade war is they are not design to avoid being regressive, like a well thought out consumption tax might be.

In fact the opposing country will likely target vulnerable industries and items that will directly impact impact middle class people in an effort to make the trade war unpopular.

RangerOne

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #69 on: July 06, 2018, 06:01:48 PM »
Free trade is good. 
Trade should benefit all parties when conducted in an open and 'fair' manner.
Trade prevents wars.

That all being granted, there may come a point in a broken trading relationship where a 'do over' is required.  Have we reached that point with China?  I'm not educated or smart enough to know, but I grant that it is possible.

I don't think for a minute that Trump himself really has much of a coherent plan here, but I do recognize that China has abused the trading relationship by pervasive government sponsored theft of IP from companies that they force to 'partner' with domestic entities as the price for having any opportunity to market in China.  Once they have stolen the IP, they kick out the foreign company and just make the product themselves.     

Trade is such a complex welter of rules and interconnected relationships with manufacturing chains and raw materials vs manufactured products that I don't know who can really claim to understand how to fix big parts without disrupting the whole, at least for a time.  Perhaps a hard reset will help, I don't know.   But by playing bad cop, perhaps in a year or two, the next person can benefit by making deals that are better on the whole than the status quo. One step back for two steps forward and whatnot. 

It is very possible that China has more to fear from a disrupted trade relationship than do we.  For all of their vaunted economic might, they are facing some very serious issues with their economy, and that could lead to serious social upheaval. That may motivate them to move toward a more equitable trade relationship.

I don't buy this argument at all.

As an analogy, in software development there's a tendency for a software team to want to rewrite the product from scratch and 'do it right this time.'
But this approach is doomed.   The delivery is late, you have to go through the whole initial set of quality problems again, and then you have to try and convince your customers they should pay to upgrade to a product with less maturity, less features and more bugs.

Trade is even worse.   Destroying all the existing trade agreements and hoping to come up with something better is a colossal waste of time and effort that could be better spent on other things, like fixing health care, fixing the country's finances, improving competitiveness, ...

I have to agree with scottish here. Its not even clear a hard reset is possible. And if it is it would require a very orderly and competent administration to renegotiated a better set of trade deals than we currently have in say the case of NAFTA, the one we bowed out of the TPP or an large trade relationship like we have with China. The Trump administration is a joke in this regard. Have they even made any progress on renegotiating NAFTA? Before they decided to start picking fights with other countries over trade?

There is a clear lack of focus with an emphasis on action for the sake of action. The reality is picking a fight with China on a few big trade issues, would be enough work for probably at least a full two term presidency. Yet this admin is trying to do everything and probably non of it very well.

High turn over and a lack of staffing are almost a guarantee that every effort made on this front will ultimately fail and be every bit as half ass as the initial North Korea "summit" where we gave up military demonstrations with an ally for a pinky swear that NK would denuclearize. A promise which is verifiably not had any effect on NK's nuclear program which continues to grow. He bowed out of an international agreement with Iran which was infinitely more complex simply because his base likes to shit on anything Obama did. No plan there.

Its pure hubris for any administration to come in and think they can fix a major problem, especially in the realm of international politics, even with 2 full terms.

What we are witnessing now is the easy part. Trump throwing shit into a fan. There is no way in hell he will give anyone in the administration enough time or tools to clean up the mess properly if it gets out of hand.

The best we can hope for is that at some point this all ratchets down and things go back to basically the way they were. Trump and China can both individually declare victory. And Trump and Xi will both remain rich and pompous.

Adam Zapple

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #70 on: July 08, 2018, 06:03:45 AM »

We want good cheese, not that American velveeta stuff.   Eh.

Better prices would be good though.

I doubt they would send us their good stuff*.  Save it for the home market.  And just around here we have Oka, St. Albert, Balderson, and a new one near Lancaster . . .

* I was not surprised Target tanked here.  The quality was terrible.  They made Walmart look good.

Target is just Walmart painted red. 

Adam Zapple

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #71 on: July 08, 2018, 06:33:16 AM »
Dave Chappelle has the best argument against Trump's plan that I've seen.  Warning:  Foul language.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inlDT62oGy8

MasterStache

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #72 on: July 08, 2018, 12:32:52 PM »

We want good cheese, not that American velveeta stuff.   Eh.

Better prices would be good though.

I doubt they would send us their good stuff*.  Save it for the home market.  And just around here we have Oka, St. Albert, Balderson, and a new one near Lancaster . . .

* I was not surprised Target tanked here.  The quality was terrible.  They made Walmart look good.

Target is just Walmart painted red.

In terms of prices and goods, eh I might agree. But in terms of service, our Target is light years ahead of Wal-Mart. But, Target also pays their employees more. Precisely why I thought it was funny when Trumpsters lauded the tax cuts while pointing to Wal-Mart employees seeing a slight bump in pay. They went from earning jack shit to just shit. 

Johnez

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #73 on: July 08, 2018, 04:16:28 PM »
As I recall, it was enough for a Costco membership. Egads! So much winning there lol.

Bateaux

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #74 on: July 17, 2018, 12:07:53 AM »
I started this thread just to stir up stuff.   I believe in free trade and I'm against tariffs.   

Raymond Reddington

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #75 on: July 17, 2018, 01:05:57 AM »
As an American, I am for tariffs on China. China is not an ally, and uses currency manipulation and other highly questionable if not outright immoral practices to spur growth for Chinese companies only. The forced sharing of secrets with Chinese firms by foreign companies doing business in China is prohibitive as well, and is designed to create an unfair advantage for Chinese companies. I also believe that running an excessively large trade deficit is extremely detrimental, as it sends wealth out of the country. There is a coming crisis with automation, and serious issues about how we will provide a decent standard of living for those willing to work who may not possess advanced degrees, yet do this in a way that incentivizes positive contributions to society rather than mere laziness. There need to be more good paying jobs in this country for the underemployed and the chronically unemployed who do not count against the unemployment rate (and I'm not talking about FIREd people, since that's all of our goal someday!). China, by manipulating its currency, and providing many subhuman working conditions, is effectively undoing decades of progress by the developed world in the name of developing the market share that they have obtained to this point.

I believe that tariffs on NATO allies are downright stupid, however. Rather, these countries should be banding together to support good paying jobs, as they all face the same coming crisis which could lead to mass discontent and political and social turmoil if not settled suitably. Instead, by raising tariffs with Canada, fighting with EU countries, and trying to blame everything on Mexico, we are isolating ourselves in the world, and making joint collective action against the substandard working conditions and disruptive business environment of China impossible.

Kris

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #76 on: July 17, 2018, 05:32:57 AM »
I started this thread just to stir up stuff.   I believe in free trade and I'm against tariffs.

Sigh. I really dislike this kind of trolling behavior.

toganet

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #77 on: July 17, 2018, 09:09:51 AM »
I started this thread just to stir up stuff.   I believe in free trade and I'm against tariffs.

Sigh. I really dislike this kind of trolling behavior.

Agreed.  One trolls in jest, but the reactions are serious.  Or as Bion of Borysthenes put it:

Boys throw stones at frogs in fun, but the frogs do not die in fun, but in earnest.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/12/17561768/dont-feed-the-trolls-online-harassment-abuse

anisotropy

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #78 on: July 17, 2018, 05:57:04 PM »
Tariffs imposed by Trump have been rattling Wall Street lately.   The international companies are warning of huge price increases for imported and domestic goods.  While I believe price increases and inflation will follow that doesn't really scare me.  I think we may all get to be a bit more Mustacian along the way.  The tariffs could be just the trigger that breaks the hyper consumption economy cycle.  Cheap foreign goods take a lot of the pain out of unneeded purchases.  A lot of this is cheap junk that costs less to purchase initially but, lacking true quality breaks down and ends up in the trash heap.  If prices increase 10 or 20 percent then consumption may decrease by 10 or 20 percent as well.   Maybe instead of paying more the consumer decides just to go without.  This would make for a much nicer world.  It could mean 10 to 20 percent less polution.  Maybe 10 to 20 percent less cars on the road.  Maybe instead of working harder to buy more stuff we spend 10 to 20 percent more of our time with friends and family.  Maybe we spend 10 to 20 percent more time reading a book, hiking a trail or riding our bikes.  Just some thoughts on the positives of a trade war.

The "last" time a global tariff war among the leading nations occurred, depression and large scale war followed. Oh same story with the second last global tariff war too.

pecunia

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #79 on: July 17, 2018, 07:14:13 PM »
I grew up in an iron mining town.  I heard about the steel tariffs and thought, "Bully!  At last a president who is doing something to help American industry."

Then I read some of these posts.  I remembered that much of the ore went to the Canadian steel mill at the Soo.  Is that then Canadian steel or US steel?  Is that tariff against Canada hurting my home town across the lake?

I think he ought to be going after these countries with cheap slave labor, not Canada.

Sorinth

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #80 on: July 17, 2018, 08:16:27 PM »
China has dumped steel for many years. They have subsidized it immensely with significant oversupply, and waived any sort of environmental concerns making US steel non-competitive. Prior to that the US government subsidized the industry overseas in Asia and Europe to "help them" rebuild. We are idiots, we try to be nice but just end up getting kicked in the stomach. Seriously WTF.

I am completely 100% okay going after countries that are dumping. How much dumping has Canada and Iceland been up to lately?

Canada caps imports of US dairy products using a 270% tariff over a cap in order to protect their own farmers.

In a free trade environment the US would produce what it was good at and Canada would do the same. Instead, they've choose protect certain industries. We can't impose a dairy tariff on Canada because it would be stupid because we are a net exporter, so instead he went after something else. How he came to that conclusion I don't care as long as it gets Canada to drop their tariffs.

Ever bought Cheese in Canada? It's crazy expensive. 2.5x-3x as much as the US. Maybe their citizens want cheap cheese?

On the flip side the US spent over 22B on subsidies to dairy farmers in 2015. In fact 73% of a US dairy farmer's revenue is due to subsidies.
https://www.realagriculture.com/2018/02/u-s-dairy-subsidies-equal-73-percent-of-producer-returns-says-new-report/

It's hardly free trade if one side has a massive amount of subsidies is it.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #81 on: July 17, 2018, 09:04:38 PM »
The general economic consensus is that tariffs produce deadweight losses that reduce overall economic output, and that subsidies produce economic waste that reduces overall economic output.

The argument in favor of reducing economic output/efficiency this way is always some theoretical "well it'll benefit me" narrative. These narratives usually involve oneself being protected from competition, while no significant impacts occur in terms of input costs, inflation, demand reduction, or competitors' behavior.

For a beautiful example of the shortsightedness...
https://www.wsj.com/articles/whirlpool-wanted-washing-machine-tariffs-it-didnt-plan-for-a-trade-war-1531757621

Radagast

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #82 on: July 17, 2018, 11:34:56 PM »
The general economic consensus is that tariffs produce deadweight losses that reduce overall economic output, and that subsidies produce economic waste that reduces overall economic output.

The argument in favor of reducing economic output/efficiency this way is always some theoretical "well it'll benefit me" narrative. These narratives usually involve oneself being protected from competition, while no significant impacts occur in terms of input costs, inflation, demand reduction, or competitors' behavior.

For a beautiful example of the shortsightedness...
https://www.wsj.com/articles/whirlpool-wanted-washing-machine-tariffs-it-didnt-plan-for-a-trade-war-1531757621
I am curious though. It seems like many of the actions of the Chinese government are similar to what the old time monopolists did: run a huge glut at a loss, until all your competition closes. Then profit from the monopoly. It is bad in theory, but if you win by doing it then you win. I don't know what the best way to counter this is, but it seems like some action is appropriate.

Wexler

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #83 on: July 18, 2018, 10:23:11 AM »
My hours at work have been cut in half due to the Tariff business. I've been negatively affected but understand that things weren't so great for everyone.

If the big trade deals are 20 yaers old or so, we have something similar to what Thomas Jefferson called "The Tyranny of the Dead." Essentially we need to adapt to changing circumstances with new deals and discuss what was working and what wasn't working.

Yes, we have sacrificed the stable platform for choas for the time being. Stability can lead to stagnation though.

How many of us would even be discussing trade policies if Trump hadn't flipped the board over?

Gentmach-did you vote for Trump?  If so, I think you could at least make up some of your lost income in the form of paid meals with New York Times reporters.  They have an insatiable thirst for articles in the Trumpenfreude genre, or "Look At How Trump Has Screwed Over His Supporters But They Still Think He's Their Savior For Reasons That Are Definitely About Economic Anxiety."  I think those meals have to take place in diners in the heartland, though, so that the reporter can condescendingly point out the downward mobility of the fellow Trump supporters surrounding them.

Actually I voted Libertarian. I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary but then realized my friends would hang me out to dry after they got universal health Care.

Too bad.  There's been a fresh round of these articles this week after Helsinki, and you could have been gorging on diner hashbrowns.  This one is a particularly fine example:

"I pray for him every day. I really do. Him and his family," says Tom, clutching a bag filled with Marlboro Blacks and a handful of random-pick Powerball tickets at the Hob's gas station.


https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-putin-us-maryland-essex-dundalk-edgemere-1.4751215

Clutching a bag of cigarettes and lottery tickets!  It's so mean I almost feel sorry for him, but then I remember he helped elect a traitor to the U.S. to the White House and my sympathy dries up.


ChpBstrd

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #84 on: July 18, 2018, 10:39:25 AM »
The general economic consensus is that tariffs produce deadweight losses that reduce overall economic output, and that subsidies produce economic waste that reduces overall economic output.

The argument in favor of reducing economic output/efficiency this way is always some theoretical "well it'll benefit me" narrative. These narratives usually involve oneself being protected from competition, while no significant impacts occur in terms of input costs, inflation, demand reduction, or competitors' behavior.

For a beautiful example of the shortsightedness...
https://www.wsj.com/articles/whirlpool-wanted-washing-machine-tariffs-it-didnt-plan-for-a-trade-war-1531757621
I am curious though. It seems like many of the actions of the Chinese government are similar to what the old time monopolists did: run a huge glut at a loss, until all your competition closes. Then profit from the monopoly. It is bad in theory, but if you win by doing it then you win. I don't know what the best way to counter this is, but it seems like some action is appropriate.
How do we define a glut, and whose fault is it? What is the correct price for a thing?

If Chinese steel mills are closer to massive and cheap Australian ore deposits than U.S. steel mills, operate at a fraction of the cost, and produce adequate quality, who is to say they shouldn't sell more than X tons (so that less efficient producers can produce those tons?).

If anything, the U.S. tech industry could be said to produce a glut of software, with most firms running at a loss and kept afloat by cash infusions from investors.

People once accused WalMart of running their competitors out of business and setting itself up to be a monopoly. This was a big anxiety point for people in the 90's. In hindsight, the criticism and worry were misplaced. They were profitable the whole time, and their competitors (Sears, K-Mart, Five-and-Dime) were simply less efficient and failed to use technology effectively. Now an even more efficient competitor is doing the same to WalMart. Even if WalMart operated at a loss, burning through seemingly unlimited investor cash as Amazon did for over a decade, it doesn't mean their actions are unfair, or their prices too low.

If we learned Chinese steel mills were wildly profitable, would that change our opinion about whether their prices are too low?

pecunia

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #85 on: July 18, 2018, 10:45:59 AM »
Quote
If we learned Chinese steel mills were wildly profitable, would that change our opinion about whether their prices are too low?

I just wonder how clean and how safe are Chinese steel mills.  Simplistic looks at economics often ignore extraneous factors.  It almost always ignores the effects on people being displaced.  The world is not apples to apples.  We must learn to take care of our own.

TexasRunner

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #86 on: July 18, 2018, 12:02:41 PM »
China has dumped steel for many years. They have subsidized it immensely with significant oversupply, and waived any sort of environmental concerns making US steel non-competitive. Prior to that the US government subsidized the industry overseas in Asia and Europe to "help them" rebuild. We are idiots, we try to be nice but just end up getting kicked in the stomach. Seriously WTF.

Exactly, China have been following protectionist policies of various sorts for years. And they seem to be doing well out of it.

Free trade is one of those things that sounds nice in principle, but I don't think it works the way it's intended to unless a) the whole world has completely free trade, b) the different areas are starting from relatively equal conditions in terms of the size of the pool of resources they can offer, c) movement is actually completely free with almost the entire population willing to uproot their lives for work, d) worker's rights and minimum wage laws are identical everywhere. Without those things, some areas will develop subtle advantages and, since under the definition of free trade the disadvantaged areas aren't doing anything to prevent entirely foreign companies from selling their foreign-manufactured goods there, the disadvantaged areas will gradually lose jobs to the advantaged areas, and become more dependent on them. Meanwhile, the money will flow to whichever country the person who owns the companies lives in/usually buys stuff from/pays tax in, which might be a third completely different area.

I don't think anybody ought to go full protectionist/isolationist and ban foreign imports altogether or anything like that. I just think that some combination of sensibly-set non-zero tariffs, subsidies for certain desirable industries, and other protectionist measures, are necessary to maintain the independence of a country and the health of its job market.

(As to why tariffs might be preferable to subsidies, if you subsidise something too much you can end up with far more than you actually want. Back when the EU was the EEA, subsidies for farms led to Butter Mountains and Milk Lakes because the EU bought all the overproduced goods. If you have a tariff instead, you're not going to end up with that problem. So I think subsidies are better for things which you actually WANT there to be more of than the general public might demand (or be able to demand) on the open market, like green energy or public transport.)

Oh man, soo much this comment.  lol

I would also add environmental concerns / conditions, EPA and job benefits to the item d above.

A quote from Obama's most recent speech: 
Quote
Economic opportunity, for all the magnificence of the global economy, all the shining skyscrapers that have transformed the landscape around the world, entire neighborhoods, entire cities, entire regions, entire nations have been bypassed.

In other words, for far too many people, the more things have changed, the more things stayed the same. (Applause.)

And while globalization and technology have opened up new opportunities, have driven remarkable economic growth in previously struggling parts of the world, globalization has also upended the agricultural and manufacturing sectors in many countries.

...

In many middle-income and developing countries, new wealth has just tracked the old bad deal that people got because it reinforced or even compounded existing patterns of inequality, the only difference is it created even greater opportunities for corruption on an epic scale. And for once solidly middle-class families in advanced economies like the United States, these trends have meant greater economic insecurity, especially for those who don't have specialized skills, people who were in manufacturing, people working in factories, people working on farms.

...

But what's nevertheless true is that in their business dealings, many titans of industry and finance are increasingly detached from any single locale or nation-state, and they live lives more and more insulated from the struggles of ordinary people in their countries of origin. (Applause.) And their decisions – their decisions to shut down a manufacturing plant, or to try to minimize their tax bill by shifting profits to a tax haven with the help of high-priced accountants or lawyers, or their decision to take advantage of lower-cost immigrant labor, or their decision to pay a bribe – are often done without malice; it's just a rational response, they consider, to the demands of their balance sheets and their shareholders and competitive pressures.

But too often, these decisions are also made without reference to notions of human solidarity – or a ground-level understanding of the consequences that will be felt by particular people in particular communities by the decisions that are made. And from their board rooms or retreats, global decision-makers don't get a chance to see sometimes the pain in the faces of laid-off workers. Their kids don't suffer when cuts in public education and health care result as a consequence of a reduced tax base because of tax avoidance. They can't hear the resentment of an older tradesman when he complains that a newcomer doesn't speak his language on a job site where he once worked. They're less subject to the discomfort and the displacement that some of their countrymen may feel as globalization scrambles not only existing economic arrangements, but traditional social and religious mores.

...



Maybe he is starting to get it.  Sad that he isn't willing to discuss such things within his own country and towards his own party.

He does go on to say that we shouldn't turn back to authoritarianism (to which I agree) but I really don't see how he can reconcile his own speech with the open trade that has destroyed (and I do mean destroyed) American manufacturing.

TexasRunner

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #87 on: July 18, 2018, 12:13:33 PM »
China has dumped steel for many years. They have subsidized it immensely with significant oversupply, and waived any sort of environmental concerns making US steel non-competitive. Prior to that the US government subsidized the industry overseas in Asia and Europe to "help them" rebuild. We are idiots, we try to be nice but just end up getting kicked in the stomach. Seriously WTF.

I am completely 100% okay going after countries that are dumping. How much dumping has Canada and Iceland been up to lately?

Canada caps imports of US dairy products using a 270% tariff over a cap in order to protect their own farmers.

In a free trade environment the US would produce what it was good at and Canada would do the same. Instead, they've choose protect certain industries. We can't impose a dairy tariff on Canada because it would be stupid because we are a net exporter, so instead he went after something else. How he came to that conclusion I don't care as long as it gets Canada to drop their tariffs.

Ever bought Cheese in Canada? It's crazy expensive. 2.5x-3x as much as the US. Maybe their citizens want cheap cheese?

On the flip side the US spent over 22B on subsidies to dairy farmers in 2015. In fact 73% of a US dairy farmer's revenue is due to subsidies.
https://www.realagriculture.com/2018/02/u-s-dairy-subsidies-equal-73-percent-of-producer-returns-says-new-report/

It's hardly free trade if one side has a massive amount of subsidies is it.

Funny you say this when China does the exact same thing with steel and steel-products....

But you are right, it isn't fair and it isn't free trade.

RangerOne

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #88 on: July 18, 2018, 12:42:36 PM »
China has had some horrendous trade practices from what little I have heard. They regularly utilize government subsidies to out compete others. Its usually a race to identify such over subsidized products and tax accordingly to protect business that may be harmed.

My opinion on this topic is constantly changing. But we are probably overdue for a trade ware with China. My distrust of Trumps ability to lead such an endeavor is another issue.

I also don't think there is any reason to sweep in the EU into this mess or our North American trade partners. Take on one beast at a time to mitigate fallout.


Just Joe

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #89 on: July 18, 2018, 02:38:18 PM »
What I forsee is greater efficiency gains.  If sales numbers drop producers must innovative and provide better products or lower their prices to encourage the consumer.

Actually tariffs encourage the opposite.  If industries are protected from cheaper foreign competition, they have less incentive to become more efficient.

Kind of a duplicate of the 1970s cars when the Japanese imports began to make inroads on Detroit. Same with personal electronics. It wasn't an American company that marketed the "Walkman" it was the Japanese. And Kodak wasn't marketing the kinds of SLR films cameras that Minolta or Nikon was.

For all the things that the tariffs might lead to - I don't want to repeat that era where our choices were fewer and mediocre companies were protected from foreign competition. American companies were able to be mediocre for a long time before they were shoved off the international stage by more motivated competition.

We have collectively ridiculued the Chinese for a long time now but American business has taught them everything American companies know. While the chinese make alot of more or less single use terrible quality gadgets, they also make all the best stuff that American brands sell as their own. Want a Trek bike?  Not all of them are made in Wisconsin. Many, many of them are made in China. Want an iPhone? Made in China. Want a digital camera - Made in China.

I want all of us to prosper here but I don't want our current batch of politicians to put blinders on our economy so we can act like we make the best stuff again 'cause we don't and haven't for a long, long time. We make SOME good stuff but not all of it. Try buying an ebike made 100% in America.

I can't believe Amazon, Target and WalMart aren't losing their collective minds right about now. What will they sell? ;)

Sorinth

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #90 on: July 18, 2018, 05:24:57 PM »
China has dumped steel for many years. They have subsidized it immensely with significant oversupply, and waived any sort of environmental concerns making US steel non-competitive. Prior to that the US government subsidized the industry overseas in Asia and Europe to "help them" rebuild. We are idiots, we try to be nice but just end up getting kicked in the stomach. Seriously WTF.

I am completely 100% okay going after countries that are dumping. How much dumping has Canada and Iceland been up to lately?

Canada caps imports of US dairy products using a 270% tariff over a cap in order to protect their own farmers.

In a free trade environment the US would produce what it was good at and Canada would do the same. Instead, they've choose protect certain industries. We can't impose a dairy tariff on Canada because it would be stupid because we are a net exporter, so instead he went after something else. How he came to that conclusion I don't care as long as it gets Canada to drop their tariffs.

Ever bought Cheese in Canada? It's crazy expensive. 2.5x-3x as much as the US. Maybe their citizens want cheap cheese?

On the flip side the US spent over 22B on subsidies to dairy farmers in 2015. In fact 73% of a US dairy farmer's revenue is due to subsidies.
https://www.realagriculture.com/2018/02/u-s-dairy-subsidies-equal-73-percent-of-producer-returns-says-new-report/

It's hardly free trade if one side has a massive amount of subsidies is it.

Funny you say this when China does the exact same thing with steel and steel-products....

But you are right, it isn't fair and it isn't free trade.

Never said China didn't do that. And yes it makes sense to have tariffs to counteract those subsidies. It's the part where those tariffs are placed on Canada and the EU where things start making less sense.

But talk of fair is irrelevant anyways, Trump doesn't want fair trade he wants trade in the US's favour.

GuitarStv

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #91 on: July 18, 2018, 06:13:17 PM »
China has dumped steel for many years. They have subsidized it immensely with significant oversupply, and waived any sort of environmental concerns making US steel non-competitive. Prior to that the US government subsidized the industry overseas in Asia and Europe to "help them" rebuild. We are idiots, we try to be nice but just end up getting kicked in the stomach. Seriously WTF.

I am completely 100% okay going after countries that are dumping. How much dumping has Canada and Iceland been up to lately?

Canada caps imports of US dairy products using a 270% tariff over a cap in order to protect their own farmers.

In a free trade environment the US would produce what it was good at and Canada would do the same. Instead, they've choose protect certain industries. We can't impose a dairy tariff on Canada because it would be stupid because we are a net exporter, so instead he went after something else. How he came to that conclusion I don't care as long as it gets Canada to drop their tariffs.

Ever bought Cheese in Canada? It's crazy expensive. 2.5x-3x as much as the US. Maybe their citizens want cheap cheese?

On the flip side the US spent over 22B on subsidies to dairy farmers in 2015. In fact 73% of a US dairy farmer's revenue is due to subsidies.
https://www.realagriculture.com/2018/02/u-s-dairy-subsidies-equal-73-percent-of-producer-returns-says-new-report/

It's hardly free trade if one side has a massive amount of subsidies is it.

Funny you say this when China does the exact same thing with steel and steel-products....

But you are right, it isn't fair and it isn't free trade.

Never said China didn't do that. And yes it makes sense to have tariffs to counteract those subsidies. It's the part where those tariffs are placed on Canada and the EU where things start making less sense.

But talk of fair is irrelevant anyways, Trump doesn't want fair trade he wants trade in the US's favour.

Trump tends to use outrageous foreign policy decisions to distract people from personal scandals when the heat is on.  I suspect that his jumping into multiple trade wars had more to do with this than anything to do with a coherent plan for America.

Radagast

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #92 on: July 18, 2018, 10:22:31 PM »
How do we define a glut, and whose fault is it? What is the correct price for a thing?

If Chinese steel mills are closer to massive and cheap Australian ore deposits than U.S. steel mills, operate at a fraction of the cost, and produce adequate quality, who is to say they shouldn't sell more than X tons (so that less efficient producers can produce those tons?).

If anything, the U.S. tech industry could be said to produce a glut of software, with most firms running at a loss and kept afloat by cash infusions from investors.

People once accused WalMart of running their competitors out of business and setting itself up to be a monopoly. This was a big anxiety point for people in the 90's. In hindsight, the criticism and worry were misplaced. They were profitable the whole time, and their competitors (Sears, K-Mart, Five-and-Dime) were simply less efficient and failed to use technology effectively. Now an even more efficient competitor is doing the same to WalMart. Even if WalMart operated at a loss, burning through seemingly unlimited investor cash as Amazon did for over a decade, it doesn't mean their actions are unfair, or their prices too low.

If we learned Chinese steel mills were wildly profitable, would that change our opinion about whether their prices are too low?
Well, if a product must be subsidized by taxes on other areas or government debt to make its price low or is sold below its cost of production for a long time that would be a glut. Similarly, if 5 of the 6 most common websites around the world are blocked in a certain country but that is not reciprocated, perhaps "the system" is being manipulated to advantage one party at the cost of the others and lower efficiency overall. I was/am willing to subsidize China a little bit out of the deep poverty it was in, but as the inequality decreases it will have to increasingly accept equality in trade policy as well, ideally starting ten years ago, and complete trade equality within the next ten years or so.

Investor cash has limits in its patience. Ultimately, monopolies are intended to be highly profitable in the medium term. My issue in this case is not with companies with limited resources so much as a government.

Even then I am not totally on board with completely free markets (not necessarily speaking of tariffs or the current situation here). It is my observation that in human affairs ideals and purity are universally bad. Free speech, democracy, free trade, and so far every thing I have thought of falls apart at the extreme. Having thought it through, (based on a write up about coconuts and fish someone posted, I thought it was earlier in this thread but didn't see it) free trade increases risk, decreases diversification at local and regional levels, and increases unequal economic outcomes. Now obviously free trade must be the backbone of any system that does not plan to let its population starve in time of surplus, but there are limits to it.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #93 on: July 19, 2018, 07:59:21 PM »
Economist: "Tariffs cause a drop in demand that increases unemployment in the long run."

Tariffist: "Yea but those other countries are being unfair."

Economist: "How fair is it to the people who lose their jobs when the economy gets smaller?"

Tariffist: "Yea but they'll get jobs in all these revitalized industries previously dominated by imports."

Economist: "Are you factoring in the time and costs of constructing new industries from the ground up? For example, the cost to build an entire factory to build shoes, train workers, establish supply chains, etc? How many years would thousands of such projects take, and who would invest the money in a recessionary environment with falling demand?"

Tariffist: "High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent people."

Economist: "[gasps] you're a ghost!"

rocketpj

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #94 on: July 20, 2018, 07:46:22 PM »
Tariffs are bad for the long term health of the entire economy. Almost the entire world came around to agreeing with that decades ago. Trump wants to move the US back to the 1950's and his ignorant supporters think that was a better time.

So what is your solution when other countries place tariffs on us and demand technology transfers in order to "do business" in their country?

Ford was forced to "partner" with a Chinese automaker and give them their hybrid technology in order to sell cars, that they must make there, in their market.

Trump stated in an ideal world he wants no tariffs.

Ignorant? Hmm.

Hi. Canada here. Feeling much the same way.

The news I'm getting is that US started this tariff situation and that Canada is reacting with their own. Not the other way around as you are implying. Are you hearing something different?

Canada had existing tariffs on US goods. Trump wanted them gone, Canada politely said no and so retaliated with tariffs of our own. That's the cliff notes.

Canada did not have 'existing tariffs'.  Canada negotiated some protections for some of our industries when we made a Free Trade deal with the US - as did the US with some of their industries.  There are plenty of examples of tariffs or subsidies on both sides (e.g. US farmers are heavily subsidized, Canadians are not), all of which were negotiated in a careful balancing act. 

All of that is in the past since Trump has decided the US are the biggest game in the room and has flipped over the table to make everyone negotiate from a weakened position.  Of course, thousands of people will lose their jobs all over the place, but Trump will strut and feel tough, so that counts as a win for some people.


pecunia

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #95 on: July 21, 2018, 01:15:56 PM »
Maybe if we had a good trade war, we would get smarter.

When I was a kid and stuff broke, do you know what we did?  We fixed the broken thing.  I think there were a lot more hardware stores.

Today, you just buy new.  More junk for the landfill.  More energy used to assemble it, ship it, display it and sell it.

We used to be proud when we could fix stuff.  Today, it is looked down upon.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #96 on: July 21, 2018, 01:32:16 PM »
Maybe if we had a good trade war, we would get smarter.

When I was a kid and stuff broke, do you know what we did?  We fixed the broken thing.  I think there were a lot more hardware stores.

Today, you just buy new.  More junk for the landfill.  More energy used to assemble it, ship it, display it and sell it.

We used to be proud when we could fix stuff.  Today, it is looked down upon.

It's all fun and games until we're talking about pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, or toiletries.

It's also nice to be so prosperous we Mustachians get the option to fix our things and save more money, instead of having to fix things and still not having money. There are not so many people around who lived through the depression, but they tell stories of a very unpleasant time. They'd put cardboard in their shoes when the soles wore through, and made their kids' clothes from burlap flour sacks.

pecunia

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #97 on: July 21, 2018, 01:47:44 PM »
Quote
It's all fun and games until we're talking about pharmaceuticals,

Seems like importing drugs to save the consumer money isn't such a big thing with those who trade.  I think they've been trying to import drugs from Canada and have had problems.  No fun there at all.  People die.

bognish

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #98 on: August 10, 2018, 02:33:17 PM »
Here's my take. I run the accounting department for a factory in a Trump state. 30% of our costs are steel that comes from Europe. The steel costs have increased 20-30% since election day. There is not enough domestic capacity to by US steel instead. Many of our other components come from China. We are seeing those costs go up too. On top of that local unemployment rate is very low. Lots of illegal immigrants are leaving my state since we have a pretty hostile attitude to them. We don't knowingly hire undocumented workers, but it makes it harder and more expensive to hire and retain factory workers. So all across the board the cost of running our factory in the US is going up significantly. Over half of our sales are exported out of the US. Why would we keep losing money making parts in the US when we could just move the factory out of the country? Our finished parts could then be imported without tariff. The rich business owners would make a lot more money doing this and there would be a few hundred unemployed blue collar Trump voters. I would guess our Board of Directors will seriously consider doing this if these tarrif or worse are still in place in 12 months. If we don't do this then there will be no way for us to compete with foreign competitors that don't have tarrifs on sales outside of the US. Somehow this strategy will Make America great again and help our factories, but I cannot see how yet.

gentmach

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Re: Why I'm not against tariffs.
« Reply #99 on: August 12, 2018, 11:15:21 AM »
If the big trade deals are 20 yaers old or so, we have something similar to what Thomas Jefferson called "The Tyranny of the Dead." Essentially we need to adapt to changing circumstances with new deals and discuss what was working and what wasn't working.

That's a great idea, but it certainly isn't what Trump is doing. We could be taking a long, hard look at our trading relationship with China without destroying NAFTA, which will destroy the North American automobile manufacturing supply chain which has benefited everyone involved.

The way I figure it, forces such as Uber, New Urbanism and the oil situation (both declining supplies and climate change) were going to result in the Auto industry shrinking.

Our entire economic system requires retooling. The engines of the past won't power the future.