Browsing the blog archives for June, 2018.

President Trump: “End all tariffs.”


I don’t understand everything President Trump says or does, but a lot of insight can be found in The Art of the Deal. He is not afraid to leverage strengths, call bluffs, and remain unpredictable. Many in the mainstream media see this as chaotic and a lack of preparation, but they continue to miss the point. While there are times when the President and some in his administration stray off message, there are other times when he hits the nail on the head. Consider his recent trade comments at the G7 summit.

Trump’s detractors have decried his calls for tariffs. They are correct in terms of long-term policy, but not necessarily from a positioning standpoint. When some of our Europeans railed against his calls for protectionism, the President turned the tables and took them at their word, calling for an end to all tariffs. If our trading partners really believe that tariffs are detrimental, then why don’t they join him and demand a summit to negotiate the expeditious removal of all trade barriers. They haven’t and probably won’t because the facts aren’t on their side. The Europeans spend a smaller percentage of their GDPs on NATO and have instituted their own tariffs on US goods and services. President Trump called their bluff.

Those who argue against the President’s proposed trade restrictions claim that he is igniting a trade war, but this argument ignores the reality of unfair trade restrictions in China, Europe and elsewhere. It also suggests that the US would be “starting a trade war” by instituting policies that resemble the ones already in existence in other nations. In essence, Trump is not really arguing that tariffs benefit anyone, but that they are necessary to prod our partners to level the playing field. Imposing tariffs gives him leverage at the negotiating table. While some of his statements seem to contradict this overall position, I believe it’s all about positioning for a better deal.

Agree or disagree with Trump on other trade issues, let’s get behind him on his call for a world without tariffs, barriers and subsidies. Free trade has spurned massive wealth across the world and will continue to be the engine of economic growth. Without a doubt, it’s the ideal.