Saturday, June 02, 2018

Putin Is Getting What He Paid For-- A Trade War Between The U.S. And Its Allies


Nebraska Republican Ben Sasse whines bout Trump a lot. But when it comes to voting, Trump has little to complain about. Sasse has been with him 87.5% of the time on roll call votes-- far more than Susan Collins (R-ME), Jon McCain (R-AZ), Rand Paul (R-KY), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Bob Corker (R-TN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) or Mike Lee (R-UT). Yesterday, though, when Trump announced his trade war against America's closest allies, Sasse called it "dumb. Europe, Canada, and Mexico are not China, and you don’t treat allies the same way you treat opponents. We’ve been down this road before-- blanket protectionism is a big part of why America had a Great Depression. 'Make America Great Again' shouldn’t mean 'Make America 1929 Again.'"

And Sasse has plenty to worry about. Retribution is headed right towards states that voted most heavily for Trump-- like Nebraska, where he beat Hillary 495,961 (58.7%) to 264,494 (33.7%). Of Nebraska's 93 counties, Trump won 91. The US Chamber of Commerce, a bastion of Republicanism, announced yesterday that Trump's trade policies may cost the U.S. 2.6 million jobs. Aside from retaliatory tariffs on steel, Mexico added tariffs on pork, apples, grapes, cheeses. Iowa, a state that voted for Trump, is the #1 pork-producer in the U.S. but right behind them are other Trump states like North Carolina, Indiana, Oklahoma, Missouri and... Nebraska.

At the same time, the tariffs are likely to raise consumer prices and obliterate any benefits Americans were getting from the GOP tax cuts. John Harwood, reporting for CNBC, wrote that "Higher prices will result directly from tariffs the White House plans to impose on steel and aluminum imports from allies such as Canada, Mexico and the European Union as well as other countries… But combined with additional tariffs against other imports from China and retaliatory steps by our trading partners, the measures Trump announced promise to make an impact. And mainstream economists across the political spectrum agree it will be negative."

Why did Putin interfere in the U.S. elections? Look very, very carefully-- really carefully-- and you'll find the answer.

A breaking apart the bonds that tie America and its allies was numero uno.
American consumers will almost certainly be hit with higher prices due to the tariffs, and a slew of major industries are warning of tens of thousands of job losses in the US due to increased costs and retaliation from trading partners.

Trump initially announced the import tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum would come into effect in March, but he ended up exempting Canada, Mexico, and the EU. On Thursday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced those exemptions would end at midnight.

Mexico has already announced its counter-tariffs will target American steel as well as food items like pork, sausages, apples, grapes, blueberries, and cheese. The EU has also said it has “no choice” but to impose countermeasures. And on Thursday afternoon Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced retaliatory tariffs of $12.8 billion (US) worth of American goods-- the same hit Canada is projected to take from the US tariffs.

Asked if he could be starting a trade war, Trudeau replied, “We’re ready for anything.”

The Canadian tariffs heavily target American steel products, but affect a long list of other products including yogurt, whiskey, orange juice, soy sauce, ketchup, sleeping bags, beer kegs, sailboats, playing cards, and pens.

Trudeau called Trump’s actions “totally unacceptable” and said he would continue to argue common sense to an administration that “doesn’t always align itself around those principles.”

Republicans have overwhelmingly urged Trump to abandon his tariff plans, over fears that red states that voted for Trump could be hit worst of all. Canada and the European Union were previously coordinating how to hit back against the United States. Those actions, according to a source, will target steel-producing states that have pushed for tariffs, including places like West Virginia and Ohio that voted for Trump in the last election.
Republicans from farm states are going nuts, for two reasons. The tariffs and retaliation will hit their constituents and our allies. Politico's Burgess Everett wrote that "The move thrusts the GOP back into an internecine war over free-trade policies that have defined the party for decades, just as Republicans mobilize for a hotly contested midterm campaign. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) called it 'bad news' and predicted imminent retaliation from the key U.S. allies. Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said there is 'mounting evidence that these tariffs will harm Americans.' And Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) warned that similar policies 90 years ago sparked the Great Depression." Bob Corker, Senate Foreign Relations Chair, no admirer of Trump, called it "an abuse of authority."
“This is a big mistake. These tariffs will raise prices and destroy manufacturing jobs, especially auto jobs, which are one-third of all Tennessee manufacturing jobs,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN.), who said tariffs are “basically higher taxes on American consumers.”

Most Republicans believed that the Trump administration’s tariffs on aluminum and steel would be relegated to China and that exemptions for allies would continue into the summer. So Congress was largely blindsided by the administration’s reversal.

Most senior Capitol Hill staffers weren’t notified of the decision until late Wednesday, and briefings on the new policies weren’t conducted until Thursday, according to Republican sources. Congressional leaders were briefed on Thursday morning, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Rank-and-file lawmakers were similarly caught off-guard, having hoped that their campaign against Trump’s protectionist instincts would bear fruit.

“I don’t like trade wars. There are no winners in trade wars. There are only losers. And this scares me,” said a Republican senator. “A lot of us have talked to him, in person, repeatedly about this. He knows where we stand on it.”

...“The Trump administration’s trade policy is a disaster. Whacking critical allies with massive steel and aluminum tariffs under the bogus pretense of a national security threat is not in the best interest of the United States, our consumers or our businesses,” said a senior Republican aide.

Indeed, trade is the area where Republicans have grown most uncomfortable with the president. They generally tolerate his over-the-top Twitter account and have grown accustomed to his coarse rhetoric, in part because he has enacted and supported many of the center-right policies that the GOP has pursued for years, such as confirming conservative judges and cutting taxes.

Republicans worry that Trump’s protectionist trade policies could undermine all that and threaten a healthy economy before the midterm elections. Yet House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have shown no interest in passing legislation to block Trump’s tariffs or require congressional approval, a move that would essentially bring Capitol Hill to a standstill.

“I disagree with this decision,” Ryan said in a statement. “There are better ways to help American workers and consumers. I intend to keep working with the president on those better options.”

Indeed, Republicans seem to believe their only move is to complain as loudly as they can, and hope someone at the White House is listening.

“These tariffs are hitting the wrong target. When it comes to unfairly traded steel and aluminum, Mexico, Canada, and Europe are not the problem-- China is,” added House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX). "I call on the administration to continue the exemptions and negotiations with these important national security partners.”
Kara Eastman's Nebraska district (NE-02) is mostly urban and suburban-- just 1.1% rural-- but that doesn't mean she isn't paying close attention. Last night she told us that Trump had "just managed to upset our major allies while also hurting American businesses that export goods. The jobs of thousands of Nebraskans will be jeopardized. These haphazard moves with no strategy must be stopped."

Tom Guild's district (OK-05), is centered on Oklahoma City, and the rural area is just 13%. And, like Kara, he's paying close attention. "Trump’s tariffs," he said, "speak volumes as to the disaster his administration is. Instead of imposing tariffs and going after China with a vengeance like he promised in the 2016 campaign, he is targeting longstanding American friends and allies like Mexico, Canada, and the European Union. He expects loyalty from others, but shortchanges America’s friends and allies and punishes them for their longstanding loyalty. The pending Trump trade war will slow the American economy to a crawl and throw many good American workers out of jobs. This is another way for Trump to make himself the center of attention. He puts the ego in egomaniac. His tariffs will hurt American agriculture and cut deeply into the profits of Oklahoma farmers and have a destructive impact on rural areas and small towns throughout the United States. The voters who put Trump in the White House will bear the brunt of the damage his unilateral imposition of tariffs wrecks on our economy. Trump will inflict the most pain on those who voted for him for president. With friends like the Donald, it begs the age old question, who needs enemies?"

Labels: , , , , , ,


At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally! A motive for Putin's alleged actions! I have not locked out accepting that Putin did manage to turn the election, but I don't accept the means by which it is alleged that he did so. I'm open to be convinced.

That said, if my nation was surrounded by a huge and hostile military alliance which was parked right on my borders, I'd want to do something which might ease the threat. Russia remains a large nation with a strong military, but almost all of the damage any likely war would cause would be within those borders. It would take a chess player -and not a crap shooter who can only win with loaded dice- to pull off an easing of the threat without resorting to military action.

Now what I still fail to see is how all those alleged Facebook and Twitter ads caused the election to go Trump's way. HER! did win the popular vote, after all, and there is reason to believe that if she had exposed HER!self to exposure from the Deplorables in WI, MI, OH, and PA, HER! just might have shifted enough votes away from Trump to take away those states and prevented Trump from taking power. So despite all of HER! terrible excuses, HER! losing is all on HER!

IF this nation is so mentally-challenged that these social media efforts worked, then we deserve the pending collapse of our society.

At 11:12 AM, Blogger edmondo said...

You think the tariffs are so bad? Wait till Trump carries Michigan. Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania again along with Minnesota in 2020. Getting Deplorables jobs in steel mills and auto plants may not play well in the Acela corridor but it's a ticket to re-election for the Trumpster.

At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trump will not get jobs for Trumpsters. There is no market for their goods, and the sources of raw materials are going offshore just as fast as the jobs left.

Did you miss how Ford is slashing their product line? Did you miss how Dodge and Chrysler might not be far from the end of their respective roads?

Come back when you know something provable.

At 2:09 PM, Blogger edmondo said...

Come back when you know something provable.

How's this?

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You think that is going to hold up when Trump is busy pissing off allies and trading partners, edmondo? You clearly have a very short memory and little understanding of history.

At 5:41 PM, Blogger News Nag said...

You are deluded or ignorant - or just insanely naive - if you think those jobs you mention are going to materialuze in those or any states. Yoy're in some masturbatory fantasyland with your thinking.

At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually all comments above have something to consider.

the jobs numbers LOOK ok, but look deeper and you see that, as always, the new jobs are of the McJob variety.

The tariff war WILL cost jobs, but are Nazis smart enough to realize why they just got laid off? When Hannity and alex jones are telling them it's the fault of liberals?

You all fail to realize that there were two issues that won those swing states for the Nazis:
1) the democrap was the worst ever
2) hate.

Even if Bernie ran again and won the 'crap nom, which is not possible if you consider the superdelegate plan the 'craps are seriously considering, he would again not excite the black vote because of anti-semitism. Conversely, all the stupid white haters in those states will definitely show up to vote for their Nazi brethren.

And if you're hoping for some other charismatic democrap in 2020, ask yourself who would the money allow to be that person? $hillbillary again? come on!!

Ford is lining up to be the cracker auto company building all their pickup trucks (the base trim will probably include either a confederate flag or a swastikkka decal) and nothing else. The Nazis being too stupid to realize that all will be built in Canada and Mexico.


Post a Comment

<< Home