Comrade Trump, the economic stable genius, is now leading the US to victory with his trade wars, or so walking Unisom Wilbur Ross told the Senate:
“Appearing before the Senate Finance Committee, Ross defended the White House’s measures targeting steel and aluminum imports due to what it deems national security concerns. In a rare move, the policy has united most lawmakers against the president.”
And if you go through the article (and others) you will learn that REPUBLICAN senators are kinda pissed off with what’s happening to their constituents (meaning the bidnesses in their states).
“Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill described the case of Mid Continent Nail Corporation in Missouri. It’s the largest producer of steel nails in the country and employs 500 workers. It’s suffered because the price of the steel used to produce nails is up 20 percent, forcing Mid Continent to raise its prices.
“CLAIRE MCCASKILL: So far, they have lost almost half of their business in one month. The customers can easily source nails manufactured in other countries. And the company believes they’ll be out of business by Labor Day.”
Yes, it is an anecdote, but it is a telling datapoint.
The Enemy of the People (The WaPo) has a detailed article up, which tells us who is pissed about what:
- Sen. Chuck “I am NOT a Nail!” Grassley (IA): Soybean prices
- Sen. Orrin Hatch (UT): Steel costs
- Sen. Johnny Isakson (GA): Aluminum costs (Coca-Cola is HQ’ed in Atlanta, and they use a lot of aluminum for their cans)
- Sen. Rob Portman (OH): Steel costs and automobile sales
- Sen. John Thune (SD): Corn, wheat, and pork prices
- Sen. Pat Toomey (PA): Ketchup (Heize is now planning to return to producing Ketchup in Canada; they had only recently repatriated production to the US)
Now, you might notice that these RED states are all ones that
Russia won, er, Comrade Trump won in the 2016 Goat Rodeo, and so you would be correct in thinking that China (and our NAFTA allies) are being very targeted in their response to the tariffs.
Here’s some choice quotes from Wilbur Ross defending the trade wars:
- When Thune warned that the drop in soybean prices (caused by China’s retaliatory tariffs) was costing South Dakota soybean farmers hundreds of millions of dollars, Ross responded by saying he heard the price drop “has been exaggerated.”
- Ross told Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) that he’s heard the rising cost of newsprint for rural newspapers “is a very trivial thing,” and he told Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) that it’s tough luck if small businesses don’t have lawyers to apply for exemptions: “It’s not our fault if people file late.”
- Asked by Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.) what the administration would do to help American farmers and ranchers, Ross told him “I’m not in detail familiar with all of the tools” and let the senator know that “we have no control over what another country does in retaliation.”
- Ross further claimed to the lawmakers that the huge spike in steel prices “is not a result of the tariff” but of “antisocial behavior by participants in the industry” — behavior triggered by the tariffs. He justified tariffs on Canadian steel for national-security reasons, though the United States has a steel-trade surplus with Canada, by saying the concern is about transshipments of Chinese steel through Canada — yet he admitted “we do not have definitive data” about such shipments.
So you know, we’re in good, 80-year old hands.