Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Trump's tech tariffs may lead to higher prices for U.S. consumers

The Navy's new USS Little Rock arrives at the harbor in Buffalo N.Y. on Dec. 4. In imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports President Trump said the U.S. military should be as self-sufficient as possible MoreCloseclosemore
Patty Aguilar | 15 March, 2018, 01:33

"Trade wars", President Donald Trump recently declared on Twitter, "are good, and easy to win".

By holding the presidential office, Mr. Trump is granted a great deal of leeway in foreign policy matters and can wield that power however he deems fit, especially when Mr. Trump uses "national security" to justify his decisions.

The United States had a record $375 billion trade deficit with China in 2017, which made up two thirds of a global $566 billion U.S. trade gap previous year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

The tariffs will affect a wide range of products, including high-tech gadgets, food, furniture and beverages.

It is reported by Politico.

The list of winners and losers goes on and on and it's different for every tariff, every regulation, and every manipulation of the fiat currency system. Buchanan said that this use of the Value-Added Tax "works just like a tariff".

Lighthizer cites Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which authorizes U.S. authorities to create a "retaliation list" of goods to sanction in the event the USA feels threatened economically.

Housing trade groups also took a dim view of the tariffs, saying the policy would raise costs and slow building at a time when the nation faces a severe shortage in homes and rental housing.

Higher steel and aluminum company profits will therefore come at the expense of these other American manufacturers - exporters like Caterpillar and Harley-Davidson are already warning that the tariff would put them at a competitive disadvantage in world markets.

However, if the people complaining right now had been truly interested in free trade and not just in collecting their own spoils, they would have long ago called on China to lower their average tariff rates and the European Union to stop their massive subsidies for agricultural products.

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 26, 2018.

The Chinese government said it "firmly opposes" the move but gave no indication whether it might make good on threats to retaliate. "So let us cherish this relationship, not challenge it".

"We will have to protect our industry with rebalancing measures", said Cecilia Malmstroem, the EU Trade Commissioner, who this week confirmed that EU states are finalizing a list of USA goods - from peanut butter to bourbon - to hit with retaliatory tariffs.

Donald Trump, however, insisted that the figure must be increased and asked for preparation of the necessary draft regulations in the coming weeks.

While that is not a lot for the economy as a whole, it would be painful for the individual industry. Therefore, there would be no persistent deficits as we have seen with the United States and the rest of the world.

The moves accelerated after news of the planned tariffs, which reportedly target Chinese tech, electronics and telecoms. Chancellor Angela Merkel, well-versed in dealing with the world's egomaniacs on the global stage, is the best qualified to put an end to this absurd conflict with her sober and balanced manner - not least by curbing the forces demanding retaliation in Brussels and in other countries, like France.

American steel companies didn't get the same help and therefore many had to fold.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told lawmakers on Wednesday his department would soon publish procedures for product-specific exemptions from the steel tariffs for items that are not available from domestic producers or in short supply. But WTO cases take time and during this time the U.S. steel industry could have some temporary relief.

However, Trump has pushed forward with his agenda by slapping Chinese industries with harsh tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the United States and insisting on giving preferential treatment to global allies based on favorable military and economic alliances.

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