Donald Trump is not an expert in anything other than telling massive lies and convincing his rabid fanbase to buy into them, but he’s even less informed on trade than the average non-expert. On Monday, he began tweeting praise for the tariffs he says will save the American economy while nearly every economic expert says will just hurt consumers.
Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under President Clinton (who, by the way, is the only modern president to leave office with a budget surplus), says that tariffs are bad for American workers and even worse for American consumers.
‘They drive up prices of inputs used by American workers to make all sorts of things – thereby making our workers less competitive internationally. Tariffs on steel hurt American workers who use steel in making cars, appliances, and motorcycles. Tariffs on chips, wires, and circuits hurt American workers who use them for making high-tech products.
‘Tariffs also drive up the prices of goods bought by American consumers from all over the world, reducing the purchasing power of American wages. They’re the equivalent of a wage cut.
‘And tariffs push foreign governments to raise tariffs on American exports, thereby making American workers even less competitive. Europe puts a retaliatory tariff on Harley-Davidson’s motorcycle exports, and what happens? Harley moved production to Europe.
‘The trade war that began in 1930 with the Smoot-Hawley tariff ended up worsening the Great Depression.’
Tariffs have never worked to improve the American economy before and economists do not expect them to do so now. Donald Trump, however, is not listening.
Twitter responded in full force. Read some of their comments below: