From tariffs to the wall, Trump is wrong | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

Well, I don’t have a degree in economics nor import strawberries from Mexico, but I am quite confident that Trump is not very brilliant on trade economics nor the art of negotiation.

Let’s start with the source of legality for the tariffs he has imposed on Canada, Mexico and other countries. This has all been done under the auspices of his narrow authority to do so when there is a threat to our national security.

Otherwise, Congress is the prime tariff provider (well, when it emphatically assumes its constitutional prerogatives which seemed so far-fetched with the 115th Congress and remain so with the current Senate).

Sorry, but since when did strawberry shortcake become so key to our security? Or more seriously, that our friend Canada, is a national security worry for being one of the sources of steel to the U.S,?

And tariffs versus free markets; plainly, tariffs are an import tax on goods from other countries — the exporting country only sets a price at export and so if a tariff (tax) is applied to the product when it gets here then the increase cost to a consumer is solely the result of the tariff and the administration that applied it.

Oh certainly, I guess, if Trump sets a tariff on strawberries the importer could go back to his Mexican supplier and insist they “Eat It” and bully them to drop their price so the product remains the same to the consumer. Or maybe the importer could do the same and reduce his middle man markup margins to keep the price the same as before the tariff was imposed? Either way it’s not free market capitalism at work.

Let’s be clear, tariffs are antithetical to free markets and even non-economic majors know this.

Yes, Trump is certainly shaking things up, from thousands of child separations, Voodoo economics and government shutdowns to name a few, but one thing we can be so thankful for is a Free Press and folks that seek the truth regardless of what degree they may have.

Trump campaigned on a wall and that he would get Mexico to pay for it — the former was a simple metaphor on a complex subject for him to use at rallies and the latter is never going to happen — full stop.

MICHAEL SCHWANK

Bainbridge Island

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