President Donald Trump’s trade war has expanded worldwide, and faces opposition from the left and the right, the east and the west, the poor, and the rich.
In the first in many developments in the rapidly expanding trade war, Trump wants to impose a total ban on luxury German automobile imports. Shares of Daimler Chrysler, Porsche, and Volkswagen were down on Thursday after the report.
Here at Reverb press we’re sure this has nothing to do with a new report in the Washington Post which says that an emotional German Chancellor Angela Merkel swore to protect liberal democracy after the election of Donald Trump.
Trump’s trade war now extends well beyond China and is hitting more close US allies in Europe than just Germany, Axios reports. President of the EU commission Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU has “no choice” but to retaliate. Possible US targets include American made motorcycles, and Kentucky Bourbon.
Meanwhile during NAFTA negotiations between Mexico the US and Canada, Mexico has released new duties on us products — responding to president Trump’s decision to Levy tariffs on steel and aluminum to Mexico. In a statement, Mexico’s government said:
“Mexico reiterates its position against protectionist measures that affect and distort international commerce in goods. In response to the tariffs imposed by the United States, Mexico will impose equivalent measures to various products like flat steels (hot and cold foil, including coated and various tubes), lamps, legs and shoulders of pork, sausages and food preparations, apples, grapes, blueberries, various cheeses, among others, up to an amount comparable to the level of affectation”
A statement by us Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross seem to acknowledge the expansion of Trump’s trade War into a worldwide trade war. “We look forward to continued negotiations with Canada and Mexico on one hand and with the European Commission on the other hand as there are other issues we need to get resolved,” Ross said.
It’s not just liberals and Democrats who are alarmed by the expansion of Trumps trade war, Republicans are beginning to revolt as well. In a statement released Thursday, Senate Finance Chairman Orin Hatch, a republican from Utah, slammed Trump’s tariffs as “a tax hike on Americans”;
“My position remains unchanged: Tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are a tax hike on Americans and will have damaging consequences for consumers, manufacturers and workers,”
And the billionaire Koch Brothers, whose influential Koch Network includes Americans For Prosperity and was behind the Tea Party wave which now forms the far right Freedom Caucus of Congress and is well known for supporting conservative causes and Republican candidates, and legislation, issued a scathing statement to CNBC, urging the White House to quote, “abandon” tariffs and other trade war policies.
Koch spokesman James Davis said, “Trade barriers make Americas as a whole poorer and they especially harm those already disadvantaged. Trade wars hurt everyone. They trigger retaliatory tariffs from our trade partners and that raises prices on American families who need affordable access to household goods. We urge the Trump administration to abandon these tariffs.”
With both Democrats and Republicans, grassroots activists and billionaire oligarchs alike raising concerns about the depth and scope of Trump’s protectionist trade War, one can be left unsure of what to support. What anyone considering the impact of tariffs and other protectionist trade policies should know is that there is a relationship between trade and employment. Tariffs are only a good idea for the economy writ large if more people are employed and at higher wages. If prices increase, but more jobs are outsourced, then the nation imposing tariffs will lose, and their economy will decline, and their people will suffer as a result.