One of the ironies of trade protectionism is that, with tariffs and import quotas, we do to ourselves in times of peace what foreign nations do to us with blockades to keep imports from entering our country in times of war.
Or consider that we impose sanctions on U.S. enemies such as North Korea, Russia and Iran because we want them to feel the economic pain of being deprived of imports. But now, we are imposing sanctions on our own country by punishing with tariffs in order to make Americans more prosperous. If ever there were a crisis of logic, this is it.
President Donald Trump genuinely believes that his steel and aluminum tariffs will save thousands of blue-collar jobs. And we know from our interactions with him that he truly cares about these workers in Pennsylvania, Ohio and other Rust Belt states. We do, too, and we don’t want factories to shut down. But even if tariffs save every one of the 140,000 or so steel jobs in America, it puts at risk 5 million manufacturing jobs and related jobs in industries that use steel. These producers now have to compete in hypercompetitive international markets using steel that is
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(The opinions in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Southern Nation News or SN.O.)