The Corner

Economy & Business

Tariff Pitfalls

I’ll leave this to my brainier colleagues to consider, but — I was talking with a pal at Freedom Partners, which is decidedly free trade, and the conversation turned to tariffs and what he (my pal) calls the “vicious cycle.” And wouldn’t you know it, he even sends me this handy new graph to share.

The case being made here is that the tariff scheme (Fear not: Congress has a role!) actually exacerbates foreign-trade malpractice with, as I still like to call it, Red China.

Not that Corner denizens can’t read the chart, but here’s how the cycle is turning vicious: Tariffs get imposed which causes China to retaliate; which in turn harms U.S. businesses (including farms and farmers); all of which tugs at the heartstrings, which — when plucked — leads to U.S.-taxpayer bailouts, of course bankrolled by money borrowed from China; and some of those bucks actually end up in the pockets of Chinese-owned companies located here! In the land of the free, grabbing some of the bailout funds.

There’s got to be a better way. I’m going to ask my pal for some figures for how much ends in us in those ChiCom pockets. And until then, continue to root for free trade.

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