Too Little, Too Late?

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

At least 85 industry groups representing the overwhelming majority of our economy, from fossil fuels to farms, automobiles, plastics and electronics have banded together to create a super-lobbying group that will oppose Trump's trade war.

In what I would call a failure of imagination, these trade groups say Trump has gone further than they thought he would and the truly worrying thing is that he's not done.

“A lot of other interest groups thought they wouldn’t go this long or go this deep, but the layering effect (of tariffs) has finally gotten everyone to say: ‘Enough is enough,’” said Nicole Vasilaros, the top lobbyist for the National Marine Manufacturers Association, whose members are weighing layoffs after costs rose as much as 35 percent. [...]

“There has been a lot of work that has been going on over the last eight months to try to persuade the president and the administration that tariffs are not going to work,” said Dean Garfield, chief executive of the Information Technology Industry Council, whose members include Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc. “Our view is that it’s not too late.” [...]

“The sugar high of the lower taxes and the reduced rules that have fueled the stock market since the president was elected are in jeopardy,” said Gary Shapiro, head of the Consumer Technology Association, whose members include IBM Corp (IBM.N) and Facebook Inc (FB.O) He warned that some of his members were also considering layoffs.

These industries groups may not believe it's "too late," but I would say it is far too late to convince the current Congress to do anything and it's possible they may not have been able to even if they launched this group a year ago. The incompetence of our Republican-controlled Congress is only overshadowed by their cowardice. They're too afraid of Trump to do anything.

This new super group, Americans for Free Trade, is launching a television and digital ad campaign that will target specific districts and urge their representatives to stop Trump's trade war.

Speaking of which, Trump still believes imposing tariffs means other countries are going to pay us.

That is not how anything works. We're not going to "take in billions," we're going to pay billions. Tariffs are a tax on consumers. You, the person reading this, will pay for it one way or another.

  • swift_4

    Industries are just as stupid as individual people. They think they’re going to get awesome goodies from Republicans. They do, but then the economy crashes.

    Under Democrats, the goodies are still there, they just aren’t as good. But the economy improves.

  • Georgie

    “only overshadowed by their cowardice. They’re too afraid of Trump to do anything.” This statement really makes a person think about what they are so scared of, and how long has information been gathered to make them feel this powerless. Yeah I know, I’m thinking like deep state loony now. I need a beer.

    • JMAshby

      It’s not really that complicated. They’re afraid Trump will turn their own constituents against them. They’re afraid he’s going to tweet about them, or support their primary opponents. They’re afraid he’ll single out their districts in some way. Maybe a business in their district won’t get the exemption from tariffs they’re looking for.

  • muselet

    ‘Bout damn’ time some industry executives recognized reality. They should have begun frantically lobbying the administration as soon as the word “tariff” appeared in Donald Trump’s tweets, but hey, better late than never.

    Of course, they’re up against the very embodiment of economic dunderheadedness, invincible ignorance made flesh, so best of luck to them. We’re all going to need it.


  • Aynwrong

    Well, well, well…