Trump Wants Big Auto Tariffs, Republicans Plead for Reason


As the Washington Post reports, President Trump is going further down the tariff rabbit hole:

Several of President Trump’s senior economic advisers believe he plans to push forward with 25 percent tariffs on close to $200 billion in foreign-made automobiles later this year, three people briefed on internal discussions said.

Trump wants to move forward despite numerous warnings from GOP leaders and business executives who have argued that such a move could damage the economy and lead to political mutiny. [Pols emphasis]

But Trump has become increasingly defiant in his trade strategy, following his own instincts and intuition and eschewing advice from his inner circle. He has told advisers and Republicans to simply trust his business acumen, a point he tried to reinforce Wednesday morning in a Twitter post.

“Every time I see a weak politician asking to stop Trade talks or the use of Tariffs to counter unfair Tariffs, I wonder, what can they be thinking?” Trump said Wednesday. “Are we just going to continue and let our farmers and country get ripped off?”

Trump’s trade policies are being hammered on all fronts lately, with Congressional Republicans getting louder about their opposition to policies that are already causing havoc on the American economy. As Politico reports:

Pro-free trade Republicans were already furious with Trump’s escalation of tariffs against U.S. allies and China — a multi-front trade war they say is hurting U.S. farmers and manufacturers. But the administration’s response Tuesday — announcing plans to send $12 billion to farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs to ease the pain — is the opposite of conservative, free-trade orthodoxy, they said.

“This is becoming more and more like a Soviet type of economy here: Commissars deciding who’s going to be granted waivers, commissars in the administration figuring out how they’re going to sprinkle around benefits,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). “I’m very exasperated. This is serious.”

“Taxpayers are going to be asked to initial checks to farmers in lieu of having a trade policy that actually opens and expands more markets. There isn’t anything about this that anybody should like,” said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 GOP leader. He suggested the new spending might need to be offset by cuts in other funding areas.

The pushback on Trump’s trade policies isn’t limited to Washington D.C. Here in Colorado, exasperated farmers are dismissing a White House proposal to spend $12 billion  on “emergency aid” in an attempt to stem the bleeding from a wound that didn’t exist until Trump started poking at it.


18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    Trump is doing EXACTLY what he told the American people he would do. He will be remembered as a hero and a liberator of the American worker. MAGA!

    • Pseudonymous says:

      I can't help but feel like you ejaculated as you finished typing that.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      If he's doing exactly what he told us he would do, how's the "First Hundred Days" document he signed doing?

      Skipping over the timetable of 100 days, WAPO's Campaign Promise Tracker now has his score as

      Promises kept 14

      Promises broken 16

      Launched 15

      Stuck 8

      Compromise 7

      And those rankings are extraordinarily generous, crediting "launched" with things proposed to Congress or appointing a group to study an issue.

      And economics is hard — who knew? By keeping his promises on tariffs, he will nearly insure he will break other promises. Mark Thiessen, full-time Trump cheerleader, pointed this out last March: Tariffs will force Trump to break key campaign promises

    • OrangeFree says:

      He will be remembered as a hero and a liberator of the American worker

      A liberator of the American worker from their jobs, most assuredly, as American auto manufacturers either set up production plants in other countries to get around the tariffs or further automate production to cut costs and make up for the retaliatory tariffs.  

      Or, hell, maybe even both.

    • Mike W. says:

      Your communism is showing, Moddy…

    • unnamed says:

      Do any of Trump's promises include publically sucking up to Russia?  Does that MAGA?

      Can you answer that? 

      "Workers of the world, unite!" You have nothing to lose but your chains.

      Right MAGAt? 

    • MichaelBowman says:

      Nutteranus might be interested in how Germany produces twice as many cars annually as the United States…all while paying their workers twice as much as the average American autoworker.  (just kidding on the Nutter being interested part). 

      How Germany Builds Twice As Many Cars As The U.S. While Paying Its Workers Twice As Much

      "the salient difference is that, in Germany, the automakers operate within an environment that precludes a race to the bottom; in the U.S., they operate within an environment that encourages such a race."

    • Davie says:

      Right, voters told Trump to blow up the deficit by trillions each year to give welfare to the wealthy, all paid for by taxpayers and their grandchildren for generations to come, so they can lose their health benefits and their social security.

      But hey, creating a new Depression and then using more taxpayer dollars to boost the pocketbooks of the big agribusinesses makes perfect economic sense.  Then you'll whimper and complain when this flaming bag of stinking Trump is left on the doors of Democrats to clean up once again, just like Clinton and Obama had to do.

    • He said he'd spend taxpayer dollars to prop up a self-inflicted trade slump?

    • spaceman65 says:

      Seig heil, Moddy.  We'll pass on the isolationism and Hitler-like worship you have for the soon-to-be-named unindicted co-conspirator


  2. Genghis says:

    Economic isolationism! What could possibly go wrong?!

  3. MADCO says:

    We can just tariff our way to productivity. No other nation will retaliate. American producers will sell more and more at higher and higher prices and the workers will make a fortune.

    Wait.. if tariffs go up – then how do we compensate the losers?  Or – 12billion here 12 billion there from some DEpression Era red program that R's hate.

    I can't wait for those farmers to throw the money right back in the government's face.

  4. notaskinnycook says:

    I keep seeing Photoshops of Yammie-pie's face merged with Nixon's. I think they've got the wrong past president. I wonder what the Yam's mug looks like merged with Hoover's?

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      J. Edgar or Herbert? Herbert was never accused of any crimes. Herbert tried to solve the first world wide depression with insufficient tools. Dumb but not criminal. Previously he had attacked European famine successfully

      • JohnInDenver says:

        Herbert was far from "dumb" — going from being an orphan passed from family friend through a series of relatives, to being on his own when he moved to California. He did not attend a high school, but qualified to be in the first class at Stanford. Graduated and worked as a mining engineer who rose through the ranks. He was a multi-millionaire after 20 years of work, with shares in profitable mines that would continue paying him until his death.

        In short, like another engineer who became President, he was ill-matched to his times and had little support in the Congress.

        • Gray in Mountains says:

          "dumb" refers to actions, not to Hoover. He tried all the measures that had been tried before. But, times required more. I agree with you about his character for sure. 

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