As promised, President Trump has increased the tariffs on a range of items manufactured in China. The folks on CNN and MSNBC – which includes the usual New York Times and Washington Post reporters and bevy of contributors – have remained consistent in their negative spins. Their anti-Trump obsession has risen to ignorance and disinformation. Yep! Those so-called experts are either so biased that they cannot deal with facts and truth or they are truly … hate to say it … stupid. I suspect a bit of both.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the spokesperson for MoveOn.org, should really be moving on. She contends that the tariffs on goods coming in from China will hurt the American consumer – who, she claims will be paying for the increased costs. And then with a perfectly straight face, she claims that any retaliatory tariffs put on by the Chinese will also hurt the American consumer. How does that work? Does not seem like you should have it both ways.
The left also ignores the benefits to a lot of American businesses who will be better able to sell made-in-America products. Part of the rationale for the tariffs is to compensate for China’s unfair competition – such as subsidizing their products to give them even a greater competitive edge.
Virtually all the panelists on the so-called news shows wrongly claim that the United States will get hurt more than China. These ignoramuses did not notice that the first round of tariffs had very little negative impact on the United States and the price of goods. That is because businesses largely absorbed the costs – at least in the first round. If anyone got hit in the U.S., it was the stockholders because of lower profits – and that was a very minor hit as we could see by the markets rise to record levels.
And … while the U.S. economy continued to boom, the Chinese economy slowed down. That’s right. The tariffs hurt the Middle Kingdom much more than it hurt America. The Trump tariffs provably hurt China more than the U.S. That is the leverage we maintain in the tariff battle.
It is not only a matter of the cost of imports. Tariffs significantly retard China’s huge manufacturing sector. As it becomes more expensive to make and export products from China, they lose a competitive advantage over manufacturers in other countries – where the tariffs do not apply. Any prolonged tariff battle will have factories moving out of China to more advantageous nations – such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia. Since China is a much, much greater exporting nation than America, they stand to lose disproportionately.
Now, truth be known – and honestly reported – this next round of tariffs will likely cause some price increases that will be felt by consumers. It will not be a bad as Trump critics in the Resistance Movement claim. If the entire cost is passed through to the consumer, the official estimate is a $726 annual increase for a family of four. That is about $2 per day.
This is the kind of personal sacrifice that every American should be willing to make in order to end the extremely damaging trade practices of China. There is no way to address China’s trade practices without America doing a little suffering. It is a small price to pay.
While the anti-Trump press hypes the $726 cost as a BIG hit for the average family, it is not. Democrats are hardly in a position to call $726 a big deal when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to the comparable bonuses that corporations were giving to employees as a result of the new tax law as “crumbs.”
In fact, most of the Democrat leadership – and virtually all the presidential candidates – are supporting the tariffs and Trump’s tough policy toward China. So sayeth Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Pelosi. They understand that China trade practices are a problem and that there are no other ways to effectively push back.
The one exception appears to be former Vice President Joe Biden, who has said China is not much of a threat to the United States – a comment disturbingly like President Obama’s poo-pooing Mitt Romney’s warning that Russia is an existential threat.
Responsible Democrats know that SOMETHING must be done to end China’s unfair trade practices, barriers to investment in China and stealing of intellectual property. Those who criticize Trump have offered no way to address those serious issues – other than the tariffs.
A second reason Democrat support has to do with the Democrats long ties to organized labor. Protective tariffs have been a hallmark of the labor movement as a means of protecting jobs – preventing them from shifting overseas. It is one of the benefits of tariffs that the Trump critics refuse to acknowledge.
The tariff issue has caused a split between Democrats and their normally supportive allies in the news media. While Democrats seem to have come to their senses on this one, the media continues to carry out their phony anti-Trump narratives.
So, there ‘tis.