Trade

“American families shouldn’t be a pawn in this trade war”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump has announced that he will impose tariffs of at least 10 percent on all remaining Chinese goods that aren't already subject to tariffs; a broad range of goods totaling over $300 billion in value.

In doing so, Trump will impose a tax on American consumers by raising prices on a vast number of basic consumer goods from shoes to shirts, toys, electronics, and furniture; things that average people are going to notice are now notably more expensive when they go shopping after September 1st.

American retailers will be the first ones to hear complaints about the higher prices -- from both consumers and their own shareholders -- and they're denouncing Trump's tariffs with the strongest terms they've used yet.

The National Retail Federation, which counts Walmart Inc (WMT.N) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) among its members, called the decision to impose new tariffs a flawed strategy that will hurt American consumers.

We are disappointed the administration is doubling-down on a flawed tariff strategy that is already slowing U.S. economic growth, creating uncertainty and discouraging investment,” Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said in a statement.

Another influential trade lobby, The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), which counts retailers like Walmart, Target Corp (TGT.N) and Home Depot (HD.N) among its members, said the tariffs will raise prices for everyday items like clothing, toys, home goods and electronics.

This new 10% tariff is a direct hit on consumer products and family budgets... American families shouldn’t be a pawn in this trade war,” Hun Quach, RILA’s vice president of international trade, said in a statement. [...]

Other trade groups like the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America said the tariffs could have a chilling effect on hiring.

President Trump is, in effect, using American families as a hostage in his trade war negotiations,” the group’s president, Matt Priest, said in a statement.

Stephen Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, told Reuters the tariffs would be “hugely disruptive.” He noted that while Trump uses tariffs as a negotiating tool, he had made good on previous threats in regard to Chinese imports.

“We’re telling people they should assume the tariffs will take effect on Sept. 1,” he said, adding that the group’s members were shocked and surprised that Trump had not allowed resumed U.S.-China trade talks to proceed before threatening additional tariffs.

It's good to know that at least some people who are in charge of things understand Trump, and Stephen Lamar is correct; Trump has eventually followed through on almost every threat he has made. It's why I believed he would eventually impose tariffs on all remaining Chinese goods.

Trump's decision to delay higher tariffs on Chinese goods following his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in November of 2018 and his decision to delay additional tariffs following his meeting with Jinping at the G-20 summit in June of 2019 played out almost identically. Trump exited each meeting by making promises that the Chinese never made and then pointed fingers at China for not following through on his fake promises.

Using the threat of tariffs as a 'negotiating tactic' is not much of a negotiating tactic if negotiations are not allowed to run their course. And in any case, Trump is not an honest negotiator. Trump does not negotiate; he meanders through his own whims and emotions searching for satisfaction that will never come. Trump does not respond to stimuli like facts or logic, only what feeds his ego and deranged worldview.

There's no end in sight to Trump's trade war because no one can give him what will satisfy him if he's even capable of feeling satisfaction in his decrepit, syphilitic brain.

  • muselet

    While I appreciate the (diplomatically-phrased) objections to Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese-made products coming from the National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association, the Footware Distributors and Retailers of America, and the American Apparel & Footware Association, I have to wonder which 2016 presidential candidate those industry organizations donated more money to. I would be shocked to find it wasn’t Donald Trump (if I’m wrong, I’ll put my hand up).

    Also, Ashby, that’s a terrible slander against Treponema pallidum.

    –alopecia

  • David Greenberg

    “his decrepit, syphilitic brain.”

    The first thing that has brought a smile to my lips today.