Protectionism, or Personal Gain; Motives Behind Trump’s Tariff Binge?

Donkey HoteyBuffoon in Chief, Donkey Hotey (image courtesy United Steel Workers)

seeing a rising tide of imports as a threat to the domestic metals industry Washington Post

Via Wilbur Ross, yet another ventriloquist dummy pursuing power and security at our expense, we’re forced to endure one more whiff of the unbearable stench being emitted in a perpetual zephyr of bullshit flowing freely from Trump’s mouth.

I’ll be the first to admit that I know little about either industry (but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night).  It does require, however, a bit more than the average skill required to read, write, and understand the two-hundred eighty character limitations in Twitter.

Imports account for more than 90% of the 5.5 million tons of aluminum used by U.S. companies……at least 2.5 million jobs depend upon steel and aluminum. Fortune

Fulfilling his juvenile ambition to antagonize our allies, friends, and even adversaries, Trump’s malignant narcissism and his impulsive behavior is, once again, severely retarding the ability of the United States to compete in global markets, or develop new domestic markets, thereby placing many of the nation’s industries, employees, consumers, and even national security at risk.

Warnings from those who actually know the steel and aluminum industries – the industry executives, economists, investors, and The Heritage Foundation, are clear:

Restrictions on basic steel imports will actually adversely impact national security, the economy, and the steel industry itself because it will undermine our competitiveness and limit our ability to make value-added products here. In that event, these products will be made elsewhere, resulting in lost business and jobs for our members and reduced purchases from the domestic basic steel industry. Everyone in the U.S. steel supply chain will be damaged by restrictions on steel imports.  Letter to Trump from industries relying on steel BEFORE he imposed tariffs. The Heritage Foundation

Steel production in the U.S. is currently less than ten percent of the volume produced by China’s 831.7 million tons.  Also; the nation imports 90% of all the primary aluminum used for manufacturing.  Finished products such as aircraft, trucks, tractors, construction material, and automobiles require high-quality product, thus we are incapable of supporting current needs for exportation or domestic consumption and it would take years to rebuild the manufacturing, logistics, and support systems required to meet the needs of such an industry.

The United States has maintained a persistent trade deficit in steel products. Since 2009, imports have returned to the average levels seen prior to the 2008 global recession while exports have remained relatively flat in comparison, and the trade deficit has widened accordingly. Imports grew by 134% between 2009 and 2017, and the steel trade deficit grew by 327%

United States International Trade Administration

Iron and steel production u.s.

And; precisely the same situation is clearly evident in production of aluminum.

“Aluminum Association conceded that not all the needed aluminum needed can be produced in the U.S.”  Fortune

US Aluminum Production

Once again, ”Businessman/deal-maker” continues to demonstrate his amateur business skills by boorishly pushing through ill-planned executive orders.  The questions Trump and his band of morons don’t seem to be considering; “what will happen when our friends and allies retaliate in kind?  Are we prepared and equipped to handle the retaliation?”  If you read the information just provided, the answer is a resounding NO.

Is his behavior simply further demonstration of his inextinguishable proclivity to act foolishly, or should we be asking; “exactly what does Trump have to gain personally from his latest whims?”

One thought on “Protectionism, or Personal Gain; Motives Behind Trump’s Tariff Binge?

  1. Hopefully, Trump’s trade war won’t last long, that he is using tarrifs as leverage to get better trade deals with various countries. It is a risky gambit, but unlike Obama, Trump is not afraid of taking risks.

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