Libertarian Party: “Trade wars and Trump’s tariffs harm everybody”


LP.org:

President Donald Trump has announced tariffs on solar panels, washing machines, steel, and aluminum. Shortly after announcing his tariffs, Trump tweeted that “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.” The opposite is true. Trade wars are harmful across the board, and the cost of these tariffs will be paid in higher prices, lost jobs, and a slower-growing economy. If the trade wars of the 1930s are repeated, Americans could pay by suffering through another Great Depression.

“Trade wars may be good for shoring up Trump’s shrinking populist voter base,” said Libertarian Executive Director Wes Benedict. “But every combatant in a trade war loses, just like in a shooting war — and trade wars often lead to shooting wars. Perhaps the most dishonest component of this newly initiated trade war is its transparently deceptive pretext. Trump justified the tariffs by citing Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, arguing that a depleted domestic steel and aluminum industry could handicap the United States in times of military conflict.”

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis advocated for a tariff that targeted only adversaries, but instead the new tariff takes a shotgun approach that damages both allies and adversaries indiscriminately.

“Trump would be better off listening to free-trade economic advisors like Stephen Moore,” Benedict said. “Instead, he listened to anti-China polemicist Peter Navarro whose economic policy ideas are considered ‘fringe’ by his fellow economists.”

Libertarians are very clear in opposing all tariffs. From the Libertarian Party platform: “We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade.” Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and other congressional Republicans are attempting to prevent Trump’s tariffs, particularly the 25 percent tariff on steel and the 10 percent tariff on aluminum.

Even Democrats are coming down in favor of free trade and opposing Trump’s tariffs. During Sen. Claire McCaskill’s remarks at a Hannibal, Mo., Democrat Days event on March 3, she said that the tariffs on steel and aluminum would affect allies such as Canada much more than adversaries, and would invite retaliatory trade war responses that could have negative effects on Missouri products.

“I think it’s going to be brutal for Missouri agriculture,” McCaskill said, according to St. Louis Public Radio. “Canada is the number-one country for the steel that we import. It’s the number-one country for the aluminum we import. So the president’s declared a trade war against Canada, which is our most reliable important trading partner for agriculture. So this is not going to be good. We’ve got to figure out a way to stop this before it really dramatically hurts everybody in northeast Missouri that is growing beans and corn.”

Full Release from The Libertarian Party @ https://www.lp.org/trade-wars-trumps-tariffs-harm-everybody/

17 thoughts on “Libertarian Party: “Trade wars and Trump’s tariffs harm everybody”

  1. DJ

    Stupid, even in an expensive suit is still stupid. Ignorance can’t really be helped- we’re all born with it, but stupidity has to be worked at and some, especially in DC, are working on PhD’s in STUPID.

  2. JJ

    Imports are larger than exports. If we lose all exports and gain all imports we come out ahead.

  3. T Rex

    Remember Trump’s tweet: “IF WE DON’T HAVE STEEL WE DON’T HAVE A COUNTRY.”

    He’s such a f*cking moron…I don’t know how anyone takes this economic insanity seriously..

  4. DJ

    TR: I don’t know how anyone takes this economic insanity seriously..

    Me: It does make one wonder WTF.

  5. Paul Stanton

    A trade war is worse than just taxes, it’s a lot of economic dead weight loss. Meanwhile, our trade deficit literally means we are trading cheap paper for stuff we want. Sure it seems like a bit of a scam, but it’s a great deal for us!

  6. JJ

    From 1816, when we first put tariffs on metal, until 1967 the USA was a tariff protected country. We prospered.

  7. Michael H Wilson

    George Phillies is correct. Someone who was once seeking the presidential nomination supported tariffs and said that to me directly.

  8. T Rex

    “I seem to recall some Libertarians calling for funding the Federal government with tariffs.”

    A terrible idea on so many levels…even worse than the regressive Fair Tax since it could spark international conflict.

  9. dL

    I seem to recall some Libertarians calling for funding the Federal government with tariffs.

    If you want to fund a 500 million dollar federal government with modest unilateral tariffs across the board, I have no objection. I can compromise.

  10. DJ

    dl: If you want to fund a 500 million dollar federal government with modest unilateral tariffs across the board, I have no objection. I can compromise.

    Me: The problem with that is the interpretation of modest. DC’s interpretation of anything leaves a lot to be desired- and interpreted it would be since definition doesn’t support it’s agenda- hegemony and imperialism per the policies in place- foreign and domestic. The fed reserve can’t charge interest on what isn’t borrowed- modest or elaborate. It ‘needs’ our debt to survive.

  11. DJ

    500 million? I’d rather see a yearly never to be raised cap on every individual of $1.25, beginning with an immediate 10% across the board reduction in spending, continuing until the 500 million is reached- then use the estimated 500 million to actually ‘promote’ the general Welfare.

  12. Bondurant

    Conservatives don’t have a monopoly on idiocy. Democrats only oppose Trump’s trade war because it’s Trump. If it were Hillary they would love it. Likewise if this were Hillary the Republicans would be opposed. This is why the majority of Americans don’t vote. Most Americans know both parties are bullshit hacks.

  13. DJ

    Bondurant: Conservatives don’t have a monopoly on idiocy. Democrats only oppose Trump’s trade war because it’s Trump. If it were Hillary they would love it. Likewise if this were Hillary the Republicans would be opposed. This is why the majority of Americans don’t vote. Most Americans know both parties are bullshit hacks.

    Me: Amen!!!!

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    Most libertarians assume that there will be some kind of taxation going forward for the foreseeable future, and have preferences as to what kind of taxation it should be.

    And yes, some Libertarian candidates have put forward tariffs versus, say, income taxes, for various reasons. But those reasons were not “to economically punish producers in other countries and protect favored crony industries in the US.” The tariffs proposed would presumably be 1) low, 2) flat, and 3) across the board (on EVERYTHING), with the goal being to raise revenue as opposed to conduct economic warfare.

    I don’t buy into the idea of tariffs as a better form of a bad thing, but I can see why some do.

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