Trump Tariff Talk Rocks Markets, Risks Economic Momentum

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Thursday will mark the second day in a row that President Donald Trump, having pushed conservative changes in all sorts of areas, is willing to adopt decidedly non-conservative policies. This time it’s on the economy, though admittedly Trump has expressed support for protectionist measures since the earliest days of his campaign.

“The United States will impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum as early as next week, President Donald Trump said Thursday, following disagreement among his advisors about whether to crack down on imports.

The U.S. will set tariffs of 25 percent for steel and 10 percent for aluminum, the president said. It will apply the tariffs broadly, without targeting specific countries, and not impose quotas.

“People have no idea how badly our country has been treated by other countries. By people representing us who didn’t have a clue,” Trump said, arguing that trade trends “destroyed” American steel and aluminum industries.

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The president’s actions have also sparked concerns about higher prices for consumers or retaliation from other countries that could harm the U.S. economy. As reports indicated Trump could move forward with tariffs, European Union and Chinese officials considered retaliating by targeting American products with political significance.”

When confronted by advisors against the tariffs that argued the move would raise prices across a whole universe of products, Trump reportedly said, “It’s a small price to pay.”

That small price is borne by consumers of houses, cars, televisions, phones, etc., etc., etc.

Protectionist policies only ostensibly protect the targeted industry, but they do so at the expense of all other industries and consumers of all products.

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The protectionism has been, and remains the least conservative plank in Trump’s policy platform. While he has enjoyed a strong economy and roaring stock market through out his first year, those conditions were bolstered by actual conservative policies like tax cuts and regulatory reforms.

Upon news of the new steel and aluminum tariffs the stock market took a dive, concerned over the increased likelihood of a trade war.

As long as Trump sticks to pushing conservative policies he can maintain his ‘Winning’ streak, but the more he insists on Big Government economic ploys to protect special interests the more his ‘L’ column will fill up.

 

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