Trump's trade war is not going as planned - Grieco and Büthe write op ed for Newsday

Monday, July 16, 2018
Trump's trade war is not going as planned - Grieco and Büthe write op ed for Newsday

President Donald Trump has told us that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.” He seems to have thought that just threatening to impose tariffs would bring other countries to their knees, since those countries need access to the vast U.S. market.

But his global trade war isn’t going as planned. The threat and then the imposition of tariffs on goods that the U.S. imports — from China, Canada, Mexico and the countries of the European Union — have not induced those countries to capitulate to U.S. demands. Instead, the countries have imposed retaliatory tariffs on hundreds of goods that U.S. farmers and manufacturers sell abroad, from apples, soybeans and pork to whiskey, electric cars and car parts.

The tariffs and counter-tariffs have started to hurt U.S. businesses and workers — as well as consumers. And there is no end in sight to the further escalation of these trade wars.

Trump’s trade wars are not working because the administration has failed the most basic test of a good strategy — setting priorities and crafting a policy that go after important goals first.

The United States has legitimate concerns about trade imbalances and the persistence of non-tariff barriers to exporting U.S. goods to Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea and the EU. But a much more fundamental challenge to America comes from China.

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