Sunday, 4 March 2018

Well that didn't last long.

When Trump said that the USA would introduce tariffs on steel and aluminium*, applying the usual protectionist-mercantilist-socialist-populist logic, right thinking people everywhere were up in arms.

* Given the tortuous nature of US lawmaking, it is as yet unknown whether it will actually happen and when. Interestingly, it appears that the idea is not too popular with the majority Republican congressmen and -women, but has widespread support among the minority Democrats, go figure.

Give it a couple of days and how does Juncker, claiming to speak on behalf of the EU (again, whether he has the authority to impose this or not is another question), respond?

By threatening that 'the EU' would engage in tit-for-tat protectionist-etc nonsense, at which, Trump merely upped the ante.

Free trade my left foot, remind me, how would the UK benefit by remaining an EU Member State and being dragged into all this? What happened to that much vaunted EU-US free trade deal that we were going to miss out on if we left?

AFAIC, the USA's loss is every other net steel-importing countries' gain, such as, for example, the UK. All things being equal, world steel prices will fall slightly as will world prices for "Levi's jeans**, bourbon and Harley-Davidsons". That looks likes a win-win for any country that is neither the USA, a member state of the EU nor a net steel exporter.

** My Levi's denim jacket was made in Vietnam IIRC (I can't check because I cut off the label).


Sackerson said...

Is it yet possible to compose a post entirely made up of abbreviations?

DBC Reed said...

I thought our fantasist government had despatched Theresa May tout de suite over to Trumpland to get a US trade deal to make up for the fact that we had voluntarily fixed up to pay tariffs to the EU customs union which we formerly accessed free being a part of it and all.It has come to something when a bunch of economic simpletons like the UK Conservatives, though inspired by traditional motives of making ordinary people suffer, cannot trust a US President who promised Trade Protection throughout the last American election.

Mark Wadsworth said...

S, idk tbh.

DBC, that's not how tariffs work. People pay them to their own government.

DBC Reed said...

From having no tariffs levied on our exports, we are inviting the EU countries to tax goods imported into their jurisdictions with the aim of harming our export trade.I cannot see why you are quibbling about the wording of this, still less why you are supporting Brexit policies that make us outsiders to the EU customs union.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, it's simple. Single market = good, Customs Union bad, getting caught in crossfire between USA and EU = worse.

We're best off in EFTA.

Mike W said...

Sackerson's question,

MW, IC, I41, LOL :)

Sackerson said...

@Mike W: great! What does it mean?

Mike W said...

Sackerson, I laughed at your first comment, 'is it possible to post entirely in abbreviations'.

So I laughed out lound at Mark's respones: 'S, idk, tbh' which is:

Sackerson, I don't know to be honest

Which I thought was a neat little joke in 7 letters. So I replyed to MW,

I see, I four one, laughed out loud

All very childish stuff.