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July 25, 2018 - 10:36am

Today's Poll: Do you support $12 billion in aid to farmers to offset impact of Trump's trade wars?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Tim Miller
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I wonder what level of pride the trumpettes and Tea Partiers who are set to receive these payments will have, knowing they are receiving welfare from the government.

They are like Whirlpool - originally screaming "YEAH!! TAKE THAT!!!" until the tariffs affect them. Then they realize "hey - this could actually hurt *me*", and the words "snowflake" and "hypocrite" comes to mind.

Howard B. Owens
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As far as think tanks go, you don't get any more conservative than the Heritage Foundation. Even Heritage says, "stop the insanity."

https://www.heritage.org/trade/commentary/trade-wars-are-bad-and-america...

https://twitter.com/Heritage/status/1022105213627445248

https://twitter.com/Heritage/status/1021903212826251264

Howard B. Owens
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What Tim is referring to -- tariff's backfired on Whirlpool

https://www.wsj.com/articles/whirlpool-says-higher-prices-hurt-u-s-sales...

https://reason.com/blog/2018/07/17/whirlpool-thought-tariffs-would-protect

Tariff's are hurting America -- besides farmers, Harley-Davidson is moving some manufacturing overseas. Mid-Continent Nail, which employs 500 people, is in danger of going out of business. REC Silicon laid off 100 people because of solar tariffs. All of the auto companies have come out against proposed tariffs and BMW, which employs 9,000 people in North Carolina, said it will shut down its plant if tariffs on autos are implemented.

The conservative Tax Foundation estimates that tariffs will result in the loss of 48,585 jobs but the number could go as high as 250,000.

Reminder, tariffs are a tax on you and me. The costs get passed on to consumers.

Herb Chapman
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Shouldn't every farm that will receive a bailout, first prove that they use 100% American labor?

Howard B. Owens
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Why? And define "American labor"?

Jerry Buckman
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How about removing the venom from your question by writing it this way: Do you support 12B in aid to farmers to offset impact of President Trump's efforts to make trade fair for America?

Herb Chapman
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Since conservatives are against immigrant labor taking American jobs, and a popular source of employment for immigrant labor is farming, I would assume conservatives would not want their tax money bailing out farms that do not use only American labor.

This is a loose take on the conservative idea of drug testing welfare recipients.

Tim Miller
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Howard B. Owens
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"Since conservatives ... "

Not all conservatives. Anti-free market postures are generally not popular with conservatives. (See Heritage links above).

So you're saying farmers shouldn't hire immigrants who apply for and receive work visas?

And farmers should do that even though U.S.-born workers are very difficult to hire and retain, especially at a time of near (and possibly at) full employment?

Howard B. Owens
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The Cato Institute is a conservative think tank founded and funded by the Koch brothers.

Here's their page on immigration.

https://www.cato.org/research/immigration

C. M. Barons
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What sense does it make to hike tariffs, start a trade war and then borrow from the Chinese to mitigate the negative impact?

Herb Chapman
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I was being facetious, probably pretty badly. I have nothing against people coming to the US to work.

I'm not a fan of the bailout though. I think it's a bandaid for one industry. There are other industries being affected by the tariffs. I would rather see the trade policies adjusted so that bailouts were not necessary.

The whole thing just looks like a way for the GOP to slow down the tariff blowback during an election season, by appealing to an industry that is in their base.

Howard B. Owens
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Sorry, Herb, I didn't get that. We're on the same page then :)

Howard B. Owens
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Jerry, the premise that Trump is trying to correct unfair trade is faulty. This is Trump's trade war (he even calls it a trade war -- "trade wars are good and easy to win") and the idea that trade is unfair with our allies is unsupported by the facts. And the tariff's are unnecessary to effectively deal with legitimate trade issues with China.

Dean Norton
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Howard, thank you for exploring this topic. While it is true that a larger segment of the agriculture community did support President Trump in 2016 the vast majority do not favor this current assistance plan. When upwards of 25% of the products the american farmer produces / grows is exported a trade war is not favorable to our businesses. Trade is vitally important for the survival of Americans Farmers and Ranchers.

Howard B. Owens
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Dean, thank you for providing the farmer's perspective. I've seen a lot of information from the ag industry along these lines but it's good to hear it directly from you.

tom hunt
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This supplement to the American farmer will give Trump so wiggle room in his hard nosed negotiations with our trade partners. Hopefully this is just a short term payment to get them through this rough period.

Daniel Norstrand
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The government has decided to act on unfair trade practices because these practices are hurting US. The reason it hasn't happened in the past is because it wasn't going to be easy. Any tariffs collected should ( in the short term) be in a fund set aside to help individual business entities that can show that they will suffer because of the change. The allotment of aid should be based on need not lost profits since we're all in this together and all will suffer to some extent.
I am totally down on corporate welfare but when the government creates an upheaval of this magnitude then such measures are warranted. There is no doubt that the Chinese have been stealing our technology and passing along food products with unhealthy amounts of lead, arsenic, etc. so these drastic measures are overdue. We need to be vigilant in making sure those in government direct the funds generated to deflating our insane debt load and not enriching the war mongers.

Howard B. Owens
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Trade hasn't been unfair with our allies.

There is no justification for the tariffs on steel, aluminum, washers, solar panels, paper, and the threatened tariff on autos.

China is another issue. There are issues to be addressed and the rules-based system provides the tools to do it. Also, the issues about IP theft and unsafe products were addressed in TPP, which Trump withdrew from after years of negotiation, and which would have put pressure on China to sign on, which would have required them to modify their practices.

There are two key factors in our trade deficit with China, if that's a real problem -- China's currency manipulation seven or eight years ago, and our debt. China was buying U.S. dollars to strengthen the dollar and make their products cheaper in the U.S. We could have fixed the Chinese currency manipulation issue by buying more Yuan, giving the Yuan strength and weakening the dollar against it. Our policymakers chose not to do that. Our government also spends too much money. That overspending is accomplished by piling up debt. A large percentage of that debt is owned by China. That gets counted in the balance of trade as a deficit for the U.S.

So now Trump wants to borrow $12 billion from China to fight a trade war with China. Brilliant.

A month ago, the Trump administration announced trade relations with China had improved and there would soon be a new trade agreement in place. Then the administration announced $200 billion in new tariffs. The Chinese feel betrayed.
Trump can't be trusted. Yesterday, the administration announced an agreement to reach an agreement with EU. The outline of the agreement isn't even as good as the agreement with the EU the Trump killed in January. Japan just got a new agreement with no tariffs with the EU without threatening the EU. Yeah, the "art of the deal" is working out so well.

Trump's tariffs/trade war is bad politics, bad economics, bad policy, unnecessarily hurts Americans and will make the U.S. weaker instead of stronger. And now he wants to take on more debt to put a band-aid on his failed policy.

Daniel Norstrand
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A little information from a credible source https://global.handelsblatt.com/politics/trump-may-point-eu-tariffs-ifo-...
There seems to be significant "deal making" in the works (check your national news source) even as mainstream media continues to whack-a-mole Trump with hollow and unsubstantiated hot air blows. The EU has gotten away with these HUGE imbalances for a long, long time. The approach taken by Trump is needed to bring things back to an equilibrium.
I agree that borrowing more money is not a good thing, but continuing to be on the short end with our trading partners is much worse. As far as the TTP being scuttled by Trump, every American should praise him. What a nightmare that would have been for our country. The Obama administration was extremely secretive about the content of this "deal" for good reason (for he and his criminal cabal). http://inthesetimes.com/article/18695/TPP_Free-Trade_Globalization_Obama

Howard B. Owens
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There's nothing that link that significantly contradicts what I've been saying. The main tariffs mentioned are ones I've covered but with more detail.

The article doesn't mention that the total average of tariffs is three percent. There's a lot of U.S. product that flows into the EU with very little to no tariffs. Trump's approach is changing that for no good reason.

Trump has repeatedly incorrectly said the U.S. doesn't impose tariffs but that just isn't true. The U.S. imposes tariffs on 12,000 products. We also provide billions in subsidies to domestic industries. Who's engaging in unfair trade?

Every tariff on both sides is in response to capitulation to special interests. You're not getting rid of those tariffs through bullying tactics.

A trade war causes far more damage than striving for incremental improvement through the rules-based system.

This is a good episode of Trade Talks that addresses this issue directly:

Trump and Tariff Tweets: It’s More Complicated Than That
Bown and Keynes explain the nonreciprocal pattern of tariffs—and nontariff barriers—across countries highlighted by President Trump’s tweets and statements about high levels of tariff protection received by Canadian dairy farmers, automakers in Europe and China, and more.

https://piie.com/experts/peterson-perspectives/trade-talks-episode-42-tr...

Howard B. Owens
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Howard B. Owens
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The hollowing out of America's rural communities is being accelerated by Trump's trade wars.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/26/opinion/trump-tariffs-trade-war-rural...

Daniel Norstrand
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Wow, I point out the mainstream media hammering Trump for every and any reason (mostly imagined), and low and behold the very next morning these same media outlets are actually giving him credit. On this very topic! (General topic of debate). Are they that sensitive to my criticism?? LOL.

Howard B. Owens
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You're being rather vague. I don't know what you mean by "giving credit" or credit for what? I've seen nothing to substantiate those assertions.

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