Acceptance of Tariffs in US Economic Policy

Unfortunately tariffs are imposed by politicians. I will only refer to politicians as to when tariffs were instituted. I will see if this post survives cancellation.

The Trump administration imposed nearly $80 billion worth of new taxes on Americans by levying tariffs on thousands of products valued at approximately $380 billion in 2018 and 2019, amounting to one of the largest tax increases in decades.

On the old board there was much scoffing & criticism of the “Orange One’s” tariff policy idiocy.

The Biden administration has kept most of the Trump administration tariffs in place, except for a five-year suspension of WTO aircraft dispute tariffs, replacement of certain steel and aluminum tariffs with tariff rate quotas, and the expiration of washing machine tariffs.

There has been a lack of criticism on the continuation of the the former administration’s tariffs policy. In fact the silence has been deafening here and in the national political circle.

And now:
The current administration is considering raising tariffs on some Chinese goods, including electric vehicles (EVs), the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday.

When did tariffs become de rigueur in US economic policy? Don’t tariffs reduce economic growth and is in effect a sales tax on consumers? Doesn’t a tariff on Chinese EV mean we are picking winners & losers in regard to EV manufacture? And as China EVs could be a significant source of inexpensive EVs; does this mean the USA is not serious about Climate Change?

My apologies but it may become a 2024 presidential campaign issue.

I don’t have a subscription to WSJ. But Mish has some of the article.

In campaign documents and media interviews, Trump has floated placing a tariff of 10% on all imported goods and matching tariffs on trading partners with higher rates “an eye for an eye, a tariff for a tariff.” He wants to revoke normal trading relations with China, a legal step that would automatically raise levies on everything from toys and aircraft to industrial materials.

If implemented, such Trump policies would jolt the U.S.’s economy and international relations, according to trade analysts. New tariffs would fuel tensions with China and upset allies, inviting retaliation. While some American industries would be shielded from foreign competition, others would face higher costs for imported materials. Inflation, quiescent in Trump’s presidency but higher in recent years, is likely to surge anew.

Of all his proposals, Trump’s universal 10% tariff, while lacking details, has attracted the most attention from business lobbies and foreign officials.

China already faces 20 percent tariffs on EVs, and Biden Explores Raising Them.

Chinese EVs are already subject to a 25% tariff, which has helped prevent subsidized Chinese automakers from making inroads into the U.S. market.

Other targets for potential tariff-rate increases are Chinese solar products and EV battery packs, the people said. While the U.S. now primarily imports solar material from Southeast Asian countries, China is still an important supplier of EV batteries.


The tariffs before the Great Depression were the causality of the depression. Trump’s calls for 10% across-the-board tariff without special status would dismember global trade. He is clueless.

The earlier tariffs against China were realistic. Biden also cut of technologies. The Cold War worked in our favor for decades. We need to be realistic about China.

There is a cost to doing business if China is successful. You do not want to imagine that cost.

Revenge is a current tactic of Trump’s. This does not work. It is not predicated on any realities.

From 1789 to about 1913, when the Income Tax was established. They were used for protectionism, to keep Britain from overwhelming our economy even after losing the Revolutionary War, and they were the most important source of revenue for all of the 19th century. Even after 1913 then there were many products and segments that had tariffs, sometimes substantial, until the 1950’s.