Donald Trump stops everyone to pay the toll on beer, aluminum and steel (illustrated)
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Well, now he’s done it. Trump has bucked his party, taken a policy position everyone hates, and angered the most important lobbying group in America.

The Beer Institute.

The trade group for the nation’s brewers, responsible for more than 2.2 million jobs and immeasurable frivolity, basically says Trump’s tariffs on aluminum and steel are dumb jobkillers that will raise costs:

According to third-party analyses, this 10% tariff will create a new $347.7 million tax on America’s beverage industry, including brewers and beer importers, and result in the loss of 20,291 American jobs.

 

Imported aluminum used to make beer cans is not a threat to national security. The largest importer of aluminum to the United States is Canada—one of America’s strongest allies. We urge the Department of Commerce to exclude imported aluminum and cansheet used to make beer cans from these tariffs so as not to unnecessarily increase costs on American businesses and put jobs at risk.

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All kinds of people have tried to talk Trump out of it: his economic advisers, Congressional Republicans, business leaders. But Trump doesn’t listen to anyone, especially not when backing down would mean admitting he doesn’t understand something very basic: Free trade is good.

In last year’s State of the Union address Trump said he “believes strongly in free trade but it also has to be fair trade.” Apparently “fair” means “taxed because I don’t like it” trade. How 19th century.

Two taxes: many impacts

Trump has been muttering about tariffs for a year now, but nobody expected he was serious.

After all, as Republican Senator Orrin Hatch pointed out, they would completely “undercut the benefits of the pro-growth tax reform we fought to get on the books.” Republicans like Senator John Thune have been in trade meetings with Trump, and everyone has consistently told him tariffs “would be very harmful to the economy.”

And George W. Bush tried this already. It failed miserably — costing more than 200,000 jobs. Trump may even already know that, since he tweeted about how horrible every president since George H.W. Bush has been on trade.

You can’t talk about creating jobs and cutting taxes and unleashing economic growth, and then turn around and tax businesses 10 and 25 percent on basic supplies like aluminum and steel. Unless you’re Donald Trump and simply can’t stop winning, that is.

But Trump’s win is going to make his voters lose. It’s going to make us all lose. Pretty much any business that uses steel or aluminum is going to have to raise prices to continue importing the materials that they obviously couldn’t afford to buy domestically in the first place.

That means beer. That means cars, too. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, pretty much the only person delusional enough to take Trump’s side, says it’s “no big deal” if every can of soup costs a cent more and every car costs $175 more. (Meanwhile, many people have so far seen less than that from the magic economy-growing tax cuts.) And it’s hard to say if those numbers are realistic — because this is only the beginning of a trade war Trump is practically begging for.

“It’s easy!” says Donald “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated” Trump.

It’s ludicrous to say we’re “down” $100 billion with a certain country. When people buy themselves a cheeseburger, they don’t shout about fair trade. They didn’t want to make a burger themselves, so they got what they wanted and paid for it. Obviously, Americans are willing to pay for what they want and get goods in return, and they don’t really care what country it comes from.

People who disagree with Trump: a partial list

I feel the need to document just how deeply alone in Crazytown Trump is here. A lot of people who normally agree with Trump no matter what nonsense he says are against him on tariffs. That list includes…

And of course, all the people you would expect to oppose Trump do. Basically all of Europe, China, Canada, Mexico — all are willing to retaliate and raise the stakes.

Who knows how many things could end up getting taxed in an all-out trade war? And who thinks Trump, who as president still hasn’t demonstrated any of his famed negotiating ability, will come out ahead?

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Article last modified on March 8, 2018. Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Trump’s Ignorance On Trade Will Cost His Fans — And Everybody Else - AMP.

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Article last modified on March 8, 2018. Published by Debt.com, LLC .