Trump’s Tariffs: Good or Bad?

By New Generation Voters

Tariffs, the very word oft leaves a sour taste in one’s mouth, and Trump has made much use of this taboo system of late. Trump’s administration has done much good for America with deregulation and lowering of taxes, that is tough to deny; yet with the outcry of the media, one is left to ask, are these tariffs really good for America?

Tariffs, and the government for that matter, never actually help the economy.  Government interference raises prices and/or reduces efficiency of the economy and ultimately leaves most of the economy worse off and the consumer paying more.  Yet Canada and America are trading tariffs like snowballs, we throw steel and lumber tariffs at them and they throw dairy tariffs on us.  How can these be good for America and our affected allies? These tariffs are standing in clear opposition to the free trade philosophy that made America’s economy so great, and in doing so allies like Canada are countering with tariffs of their own which further hurt America’s economy.  Trump has expressed desire to have free trade between our allies, but his actions do seem contradictory to that desire.  Is it worth going to a “trade war” with our allies simply to balance the scales?  I don’t think so, simply because nobody really wins a trade war; our allies are just that, allies, Trump needs not to put tariffs on them to hurt America’s economy and our relations with them.  If Canada puts a dairy tariff on us, then we certainly need to try and get rid of it for the benefit of both nations, but tariff tossing doesn’t seem the best way to help that due to the harm it causes the consumer.

In Trump’s defense, I understand that tariffs can be an ongoing negotiation system, which may in the end work to improve our stance in trade deal negotiations.  Yet I have to say that the Trump administration’s interference in free trade is hurting more that it is helping, which is hard for me to say given all the good his administration had been doing.  Yes, some nations tax American goods more, which in effect act as a tariff, but placing more tariffs only add to the problem caused by the “tariffs” of the other country. There needs to be negotiation in a method that doesn’t hurt our economy on top of what another country is doing to hurt our economy.

As much as I disagree with Trump on tariffs with our allies, I have to agree with him on the tariffs on our economic foes like China and Russia.  Yes, nobody really wins a trade war, but as Reagan showed, we can keep our enemies in check and out survive them in a hostile trade environment. China and Russia do not have our best interests in mind, China especially is manipulating their currency and hurting our economy by essentially stealing our businesses with their very low costs and even stealing our technology to an extent.  These nations are ultimately enemies, and though I do believe in trying to keep peace with even our enemies, they still should be treated as such.  China and Russia’s currencies have already lost value due to Trump’s tariffs, which is what I deem a good example of peace through strength.  While I still believe that the harm of tariffs will persist, the benefit outweighs the cost when dealing with foes.  Much like a fever creates a toxic environment to kill a disease, the same must be done when an enemy actively harms our economy and our interests; tariffs may hurt us some, but in the end the threat that could kill the body is eliminated.

Protectionism by tariffs does not help America, in fact, tariffs hurt the very businesses they aim to protect by raising prices.  Free trade produces enough prosperity to protect business, by allowing things to be cheaper. Tariffs need to be used strictly to preserve peace through strength with our enemies.

Word of the article: Be wary of the malison that is a tariff.

Nathan, New Generation Voters

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