​Politically Active and Aware

Gregory C. Duerden

International Trade Issues  -  Tariffs and potential Trade Wars

      Trump has increased tariffs on Aluminum and Steel imports, in March 2018.  Before the month was out, the response from China expanded to over 129 products - increasing tariffs on pork, beef, wheat, electronics and automobiles.  The news sent the stock market into a 800 point decline for a couple of days, in fear of a potential Trade War, and by early April it seemed to rally back, somewhat.


       Effects are yet to be really seen, but agricultural impacts in Utah amount to - just on pork, which is a $141 million just in Utah with $21 million going to China - an unknown quantity, at this point.  Officials are scrambling to make sure that $21 million doesn't slump because of the increased tariffs, finding other markets in other countries.  Multiple that to include Iowa, Indiana and other state's pork producers and the potential scope of the issue of a potential Trade War with China is illustrated.

      While we are in the opening phases, we will keep a  'weather eye' on this and seek more information and watch the impacts.     

      INITIAL Update:   Trump announced tariffs on steel and aluminum for our two largest trading partners, Canada and Mexico, and the European Union.  This is step- ping up the probability of aTrade War, with essentially the rest of the world and not just China!!

        Frederic Bastiat, in 1853, wrote The Law in France.  It was translated into English by Dean Russell and Bertrand de Jouvenel.  In it Bastiat equates Slavery and Tariffs as "PLUNDER!"

                  "Slavery is a violation, by law, of liberty.  The protective tariff is a

                    violation, by law, of property.


                          " ... These are the only two issues where, contrary to the general                                spirit of the republic of the United States, law has assumed                                      the character of a plunderer.

                  " It is a most remarkable fact that this double legal crime -  a                                      sorrowful inheritance from the Old World - should be the only                                  issue which can, and perhaps will, lead to the ruin of the Union.

                     [Remember this was written Before the U.S. Civil War, and long before Trump and his tariffs ...but ...]

                    It is indeed impossible to imagine, at the very heart of a society,                              a more astounding fact than this:  The law has come to be an                                    instrument of injustice.  And if this fact brings terrible conse-                                    quences to the United States - where the proper purpose of the                                law has been perverted only in the instances of slavery and                                      tariffs -  what must be the consequences in Europe, where the                                  perversion of the law is a principle, a system?

                   " . . . There are two kinds of plunder: legal and illegal....The war                                  against illegal plunder [theft or swindling] has been fought                                        since the beginning of the world. .  .  .  But it [the Law] does                                      not always do this.  Sometimes the law defends plunder and                                    participates in it. .  .  .  But how is this legal plunder to be                                          identified?  Quite simply.  See if the law takes from some                                              persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons                                            to whom it does not belong.

                    "Legal plunder has many names. ... tariffs, protection,                                                 benefits, subsidies, ['eminent domain' and more] . . .  All                                           these plans, as a whole - with the common aim of legal                                               plunder - constitute socialism. .  .  . [hence,] Socialism is                                          legal plunder ..."

           Therefore,  Trump's Tariffs are both "legal plunder" AND Socialism,                             according to Bastiat !!  Also, Tariffs are compared to Slavery !                                       Both ('legal plunder, Socialism, Tariffs, Slavery) should be equally abhorrent                    to all Americans.



       The latest moves on the tariff front, by China/Canada/Europe, is making it look more like a Trade War.  The tariffs on steel and aluminum have increased the costs of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles by $2000+ per machine.  China has banned importation of Harley's made in the USA (the EU is rumored to follow suit), so Harley-Davidson has decided to seek factories outside the US; I wonder why??


      Trump announced negotiations with EU over 'no tariff' trade between the two groups.  China, on the other hand, has increased the number of products with tariffs and the US products being 'banned' for import - both direct responses to the Trade War.  Canada has complained about the tariffs but hasn't done much more than 'official' complaints.

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 THIS PAGE is still under construction  - sorry   -   more to come, so come back and see what new items and UPDATES has been added as we follow these issues!!