Tariffs: Here We Go Again

Our Commander in Chief’s most recent tweets regarding tariffs sets a worrisome tone for our economic future.  While politicians will try to sell the public on the idea that tariffs protect American businesses, the reality is that tariffs mean higher prices for Americans and make businesses less competitive with foreign companies.  What’s worse, is that President Trump wishes to impose tariffs on raw goods, instead of on completed products.  This is an issue, because taxes on raw goods increase the cost of all products that use said raw goods, and with manufacturing jobs already at historic lows, it could spell doom for the employee base of many US companies.  

For instance, a 25% tax on steel and 10% tax on aluminum will increase the cost for manufacturers to produce their goods.  Whirlpool, will now see the price of their raw materials increase, and that price increase will be factored into the price of every refrigerator, washing machine and dishwasher they make, and because the tariff isn’t being applied to imported appliances, it will make Whirlpool less competitive in the market place vs. Samsung or LG.  This means a skinnier bottom line for whirlpool, and potentially a reduction in the employee base for this company.  

Steel and aluminum are used in almost every industry in the US.  Even if a company doesn’t create their products out of either material, the machines and tools used in the manufacturing process do, and tariffs mean the cost of retooling/upgrading will increase.   Overall, US companies will have to raise their prices, and doing so makes them less competitive against the foreign companies that have access to cheaper steel/aluminum, and can keep their prices low.  

At the end of the day, tariffs and trade wars are bad for your wallet and living standards.  As your congressman, I will defend our free market system and push for legislation blocking any tariffs created by President Trump.