New Op-Ed: History – and laundry – prove Trump right, tariff critics wrong
History – and laundry – prove Trump right, tariff critics wrong
Another day, another false alarm.
That pretty much sums up the corporate media’s sky-is-falling coverage of President Trump’s America First economy.
Here are the latest installments:
The president slaps tariffs on China (as he said he would) after it refuses to stop cheating and stealing.
Pundits predict the end of the world.
The president threatens a tightening vice of sanctions on the elites who run Mexico unless they shut down the migrant conveyer belt carrying a million Central Americans to the U.S.
Know-nothings have a hissy fit.
We’ve seen this movie before.
When President Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports over a year ago, the “experts” said consumer prices would skyrocket.
Inflation remained flat.
When the president imposed the first round of tariffs on China in 2018, the eminentos of Wall Street declared with 100 percent certainty the economy would stall.
The economy took off.
It gets even better.
When President Trump set out to renegotiate our trade agreement with South Korea, as he promised voters he would, the geniuses in the Establishment actually said it would cause thermonuclear World War III. (I’m not making this up – Bob Woodward chronicled their hysteria.)
Last I checked, we’re not living in bomb shelters, I’m not glowing in the dark – and the president negotiated a better trade deal with Korea.
The “experts” were wrong then and they are wrong now.
They have apparently been brainwashed to believe tariffs are the awful-est thing ever. But they need to take another spin in the washing machine – literally.
In 2013, the U.S. government determined that South Korean conglomerates Samsung and LG were making washing machines in South Korea and Mexico and selling them in the U.S. below the cost of production.
When the U.S. International Trade Commission slapped a tariff on Samsung and LG imports from South Korea and Mexico to compensate for the under pricing, the two companies moved production to China to evade the tariff.
When the Commerce Department put a tariff on Korean washing machines imported from China, Samsung and LG moved their production again, to factories in Vietnam and Thailand.
Then, in 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission recommended slapping a tariff on Samsung and LG washers wherever they are made to keep them from flooding the American market and destroying the American appliance industry.
That’s what President Trump did.
Right on cue, the earth-is-flat economists predicted disaster. Wrong again.
Here’s what’s really happened:
Whirlpool, the iconic American appliance maker that was in danger of being driven out of business by the South Koreans, continues to employ 15,000 Americans in manufacturing and, most importantly, 3,000 workers at its Clyde, Ohio, washing machine factory.
GE Appliances employs hundreds more in Kentucky.
President Trump’s tariffs forced both Samsung and LG to invest in American manufacturing and begin producing washing machines here in the U.S. – Samsung in Newbery, South Carlina, and LG in Clarksville, Tennessee.
This is no surprise: After President Reagan threatened import quotas on Japanese cars in 1981, Japanese automakers began manufacturing in the U.S.
The Koreans’ two new facilities have generated hundreds of millions in new plant investments and created roughly 1,600 new manufacturing jobs in South Carolina and Tennessee.
But wait, there’s more.
Each saved and new manufacturing job here in the U.S. generates another three jobs up and down the supply chain. That means the jobs in Ohio, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee support more than 15,000 jobs for American steel workers, local component suppliers and other logistics companies.
In the year and a half since the washing machine tariffs were imposed, American made washers have begun replacing foreign-produced, illegally dumped imports.
Contradicting the critics who said tariffs would drive up prices for consumers, plenty of washing machines are still available at every retail price point, including entry level washers at $300.
The U.S. appliance industry is in the midst of making hundreds of millions of dollars in new investments to ensure its long-term competitiveness.
President Trump’s trade policies have resulted in more manufacturing, investment and innovation and better jobs for Americans.
George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln all used tariffs to build America’s industrial might.
The so-called experts who question President Trump’s America First agenda are ignorant of history.The next time someone tells you the sky is falling, don’t listen – look up and see for yourself what’s really going on.
-Curtis Ellis is a senior policy adviser with America First Policies.