Winning the trade war - Trump is using tariffs to advance a radical free-trade agenda


"Give President Trump credit. When he chastised NATO allies over their failure to spend adequately on our common defense, his critics said he was endangering the Atlantic alliance. Instead, his tough stance persuaded allies to spend billions more on defense, strengthening NATO instead.

Now, Trump is doing the same on trade. At the Group of Seven summit in Quebec, Trump was roundly criticized for publicly berating allies over their trade practices and provoking a needless trade war. Well, once again, it appears Trump is being proved right. On Wednesday, he and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced a cease-fire in their trade war and promised to seek the complete elimination of most trade barriers between the United States and the European Union. “We agreed today … to work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods,” declared the two leaders in a joint statement."



It probably is possible to achieve a fair balance of trade with the EU. With China, I’m not so sure.


Oh shoot…just realized I didn’t put a link.



Why is who people buy from and at what terms the business of the government?


Did you ask the same question about the Obamacare mandate?

Why wouldn’t it be a nations business what comes and goes across its borders? Like… people and goods??


Zero tariffs? Why didn’t you say that in the first place without freaking out the markets?


When did I ever support the Obamacare mandates?

The only reason a country would care about what choices individuals make in the marketplace is because they want to promote socialism. There is no place for government to get involved in international trade. The idea that the government needs to manage international trade is based on the concept that individuals aren’t smart enough to manage their own affairs and need government to make decisions for them. I reject that assumption. Government has no competence in international trade or anything else for that matter.


Whoever said you did?

Why don’t you understand the differences between international trade and interpersonal trade?


Other than geography, what is the difference. I buy an iphone case in America, I buy it in Honduras. No difference.


Mark Levin was hammering this point the other day.
What, we are talking about, overwhelmingly is trade between people and business in various nations, not trade between nations. He posed this question to a caller: What US businesses and people are buying too much from one or other country, and on what basis do you propose to tell them to stop?


Whether we like it or not, every country considers food security as a top national security issue. Island nations like Great Britain and Japan relearned that the hard way in WWII. In every developed country the farmers have political clout far in excess of their numbers because 1% of the people grow food for the 100% who eat food. The tremendous productivity of American farmers is a great advantage for us, but also a potential weapon that scares some countries more than our nuclear weapons.

Free markets and greater productivity would be better for everyone if governments permitted that. Even the vast Soviet Union lost a lot a people to starvation, not because of a blockade, but because they denied their own people access to markets before and during WWII. The few remaining Communist countries are the places where people cannot get the food they need today.


Here is an article that I found helpful in to better understand the issues at play.

Trade deficits are neither good nor bad, in and of themselves. What can indicate a good or bad connotation requires additive information. A trade surplus caused by a country’s inability to pay for imports is a bad thing. A trade deficit caused by the high demand for globally diverse products and services can be a healthy thing. The defining criteria for economic health in the context of discussing trade deficits must involve a discussion of inflation, monetary policy, foreign exchange of currency, specialization of labor markets, comparative advantages, and more. Quite frankly, an inadequate savings rate is the most frequent cause of a trade deficit, and the macroeconomic picture would be far better by addressing inadequate savings and investment than it would by trying to decrease imports into our country.

Essentially, driving a tariff agenda based on the fear of trade deficits is to drive [a] known negative to offset an unknown or undefined risk.

If one were to write the ideal primer on trade, it would start with this dictum: Countries do not trade with each other; Companies (and people) trade with each other. Dealing with this nationalistically and punitively compresses economic activity when the need of the hour is healthy, productive growth.


I remember reading that after WWII, Australia proposed that Japan be de-industrialized and turned into an agricultural nation. However, the other allies in the Pacific war quickly realized the population would have to be reduced by half if that was to be the case, because Japan was nowhere near being self-sustaining in food and would never be.

Some nations long gave up any hope of being self-sufficient in food, and Japan is one of them. China will be as well, eventually, because its land and water resources are being rapidly depleted.



China is HUGE and, in my understanding, much of it is still very rural with little mechanization. Bringing modern farming there will increase production exponentially.

Even in America modernization of farming techniques are still increasing productivity yields.


The U.S. is #1 in the world when it comes to acres of farm land. India is second, and China is third.

China is big, but vast stretches of it can’t be farmed because of being too mountainous or too dry.

But it’s worse than that. Most U.S. farming is suitable for the land being farmed. In China, a lot of it isn’t. China has, in recent decades, overused a lot of its farm land, and severely depleted its water tables due to too much irrigation. It does presently produce enough food to feed its population, but it can’t last. The U.S. can easily feed its population; small by comparison with China. For China, it’s not so.

I should add that China has already adopted modern farming methods to the extent they work there. But a lot of Chinese farming is more like gardening tiny pockets of suitable soil on which mechanization similar to our own isn’t practical.


Why do you imagine individual have any say in international trade, they buy what is offered in the store. Trade is driven by large businesses, not individuals.

The Govt is well versed in international trade, bureaucrats have dedicated their careers to the issue.


Except to promote open markets.


So much so that it would prevent, say, a group of Chinese farmers from buying some US farmland?


Interesting read, not sure how much weight I give it. First alarm was when it mentioned how climate change might worsen the situation…yeah, but might make it better!

Second thing was how the authors hedged their bets by saying modernization could solve all their problems.

Doomsayers have been talking about over -population and food scarcity for over 100 years…hasn’t happened yet (outside of geopolitical causes).


Perhaps they took Pope Paul’s Populorum Progressio too seriously.

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