Tariffic Tuesday – Trump Declares Trade War in Davos

"As we learned after President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley tariff at the outset of the Great Depression, vibrant international trade is a key component to economic recovery; hindering trade is a recipe for disaster" - Asa Hutchinson 

This is how we're making America great?

Back in the 1930s, the Smoot/Hawley Tariff Act was supposed to "Make America Work Again" after the stock market crash of 1929 but, instead, it destroyed trade so effectively that, by 1932, American exports to Europe were 1/3 of what they had been in 1929 and World Trade collapsed – leading to job losses in every country, a 10-year Depression, the rise of Fascism and, of course, WWII.

On his way to Davos, Trump declared tariffs on imports of Chinese solar panels and South Korean washing machines.  Measures his administration said were needed to protect U.S. manufacturers from a flood of cheap imports.  South Korea’s Trade Ministry called the tariffs unfair and argued they violated World Trade Organization requirements, while China’s commerce ministry called the action an “abuse of trade remedies.”  The U.S. action will also mean higher prices for American consumers and, already, companies like Kimberly-Clark (KMB) are cutting 5,000 jobs, citing sluggish sales.  

Solar-industry leaders said tariffs will slow growth in solar-panel installations and the jobs they create, which are more plentiful than in solar-cell manufacturing, a relatively small industry in the U.S. 

The most immediate impact of Trump opening the door to tariffs may be spurring retaliation by trade partners, as well as inviting more U.S. companies to seek help, said Chad P. Bown, of the Peterson Institute. That, in turn, could trigger additional trade skirmishes and fallout for U.S. workers and consumers, saying: “This is now really starting to escalate.  The concern is that now we’re at a tipping point.”

Of course, driving the cost of solar panels up 30% is good for the coal industry, as it makes cheap, clean, renewable energy more expensive but there are 10x more jobs in renewables than there are in coal so this whole thing is idiotic AND very unnecessary, as the main purpose of tariffs is to create jobs and
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