Thursday, June 21, 2018

This tariff business ain't going away

I read Steve Showalter's opinion piece in Wednesday's Sun and I posted a comment in response. If you recall he is qualified as a government professor at Lee College. Seeing that I have a 9th grade education, I quickly ciphered he does not work as a government agent, but actually instructs on how our government works, right? I mean you can't jump to conclusions anymore; that's racist, or misogynist, or something. Oh I'm being intentionally silly, but for a reason and my apologies to Professor Showalter for including him in that nonsense.

He made some astute and accurate assertions and I appreciate that. Tariff's are a sticky wicket, as the Brits say and as old as the ancient trade routes. International rules of trade are almost sacred in some respects and way beyond my understanding for the most part. He cited the negative  impact of raising the tariff on aluminum and steel with Canada and Europe and how prices will rise. I didn't see any comparison on the negative impact Europe and Canada places on the USA when it comes to our dairy and other products. Tariff on milk products coming from the US to Canada is over 250%. To be sure, we have a major trade deficit no matter how it is interpreted by the reader.                             

And speaking of steel, didn't US Steel have a giant facility here until they could no longer compete with foreign steel? You suppose it had something to do with egregious tariff policies? The metal for the Fred Hartman bridge didn't come out of Beach city folks, but if I remember correctly, it was shipped all the way here from Apartheid South Africa after a deal with a Mexican company fell through.

I suggested in my letter to the Prof that all countries drop all tariffs and start over. This of course isn't going to happen and the reason is everything is interconnected and changing one tariff level would cripple other deals and some of them are very old. Remember the delicate balance of trade between India, China, and Japan a couple of hundred years ago? It was all about silver, opium, and tea.

"The structure of the Western trade with China was based on silver and colonial products from India and the Malay archipelago, like silver, cotton, pepper, lead. These commodities were exchanged for Chinese tea, silk and porcelain by the mediation of the so-called Hong trades. As long as the trade structure was kept in balance the Westerners were able to make large profits and commercial relations remained the same. When the trade structure fell out of balance through, for instance, a shortage of silver or the prohibition of opium smuggling, the Western powers resorted to force."

Tariffs can and have led to embargoes and hostilities. It's the old sticky wicket again and sure, adjusting them to favor the USA is going to ruffle international feathers and dip into our wallets. I get it. I am also willing to sweat it out as prices rise and eventually fall back to a safe place. Its going to happen and its going to be uncomfortable for a spell, but if it means a balance in our trade deficit, then I think most Americans would rather eat from the tree every year, than watch the fruit disappear because we gave it all away.

The fat cats that call the global shots and finance wars do not care anything about country borders. They don't give a flip that you have a home in Baytown or that you hold certain ideals sacred. They give you the same amount of consideration as the African bushman or the indigenous people of the Amazon. Their goal is global everything, so a little stirring of the pot is fine with them. Rest assured, world movement of goods will continue. The global economy will survive just like it did when wars, disease, and natural disasters disrupted it. Our world planners are master shape-shifters with a very long range agenda.

I can't help but believe that if the economy would be like it is right now under Obama, the very people who are vehemently screaming foul would be waving his banner and back-slapping each other with rabid abandonment. This is why in my opening paragraph, I joked about Mr. Showalter's government status and his final paragraph that "The real problem facing the American worker is lack of education and training." He adds that tariff's won't fix this very real problem. He is 100% correct on this in my opinion.

Over the last 20 years we have outsourced everything including our knowledge of how to perform certain tasks. Legitimate Mexican immigrants have so many skills Americans lack and unfortunately, we are incarcerating the very people who know how to do things we've forgotten, but that is another subject, isn't it? The answer is trade schools and hands on training for Americans.

This current administration has vowed to make America great again, but it is not going to be handed to us on a silver platter. It sure isn't going to help when the opposition spends a great deal of its time and energy on derailing it. How about we join forces and actually work together to make America great again? There's room for both of us at the table.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gerald Langford


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