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Senior Contributor

Trade war

Well we know who fired the first shot now we get to see who will be the first casualties and where the most will add up.


Political strategy maybe but not very strategic for the economy.

Guess a few votes are more important than lots of jobs.


For its part, the American Farm Bureau Federation — which bills itself as the "voice of agriculture" — fears a trade dispute. More than 75 per cent of the rural farm belt voted for Trump in 2016, according to the Washington Post.

Farmers like Hurst, who is the president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, backed Trump then. But Hurst said his support is "shakier" now than it was six months ago.

"I'm pretty well pissed off. Economically, this is almost certain to backfire. But I'm not totally sure it's not going to be politically popular."


Zycher noted it's possible the political dynamics are such that "the jobs gained are more important politically to the Trump administration" than jobs lost in other sectors.

Trump's national security rationale isn't convincing to Zycher. In fact, he said, "the steel tariffs are likely to harm other sectors that are also important for national security."


Take, for example, the energy sector — another arguably critical industry. It relies on cheaper foreign steel to operate oilfields. High-pressure pipelines are often made of special steels not currently produced in the U.S.

Economists expect Trump's "national security" rationale will be challenged before the WTO.

Back on his farm, Hurst is now worried about steel prices rising. While his industry braces for retaliatory tariffs, costs will also increase for steel-made tractors, combines, greenhouses and grain tanks.

39 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: Trade war

" not currently produced in the U.S."

That's the problem.  We have been relying too much or foreign products for too many critical aspects of our society.  It has to stop.

In the past we recognized that some things should be made in country and a nation should not rely on outside sources for food or security.  Now we import a little more food than we export.  We rely on other countries for some of our military equipment. 

This is foolhardy.  

We as a country need to quit spending on social programs that create problems and sub-cultures and face reality.  Our dollars should be used to make America safe and secure.

If anything should have brought that point home it was the oil embargos in the 70's.  

Re: Trade war

'Tis like those pore coal miners where Trump managed to make a political point off of something with 60,000 jobs and did nothing of great help to the sector anyway, since other factors are the drivers.


As he says, the people who lose their jobs can be easily tricked into blaming someone else (probably immigrants) and the jobs that are saved will be touted 24/7.


BTW, it appears that it was Pence who made the final demand that Trudeau found intolerable.

Senior Contributor

Re: Trade war

Yeah but..........that makes to much sense...


Senior Contributor

Re: Trade war

it appears that it was Pence who made the final demand that Trudeau found intolerable.


Not sure that has any impact or connection with the trade war.

Trudeau was going to fly to Washington to try to work out more details about NAFTA and was told there was no purpose in coming unless he agreed to a clause which would end the agreement after 5 years.

Since that is a situation that would leave the NAFTA agreement worthless for any company making long term plans and is an absolute non negotiable point with Canada (and I think Mexico too) then there was no sense in him going.


Senior Contributor

Re: Trade war

" not currently produced in the U.S.


And will not be produced there for many years as the plants would need to be permitted and then built.

So in the meantime you will all just pay 25% more for any product made with those specialty steals. Actually after markup along the lines more than 25% increase.


I wonder how a car part that goes back and forth across the border as it is made BEFORE being assembled on a car will increase in cost.


I think now would be a good time to buy a new car BEFORE the prices rise because as of today those loads of parts will be increasing in cost.

Re: Trade war

To my point- it was a poison pill.


They want maximum confusion and drama as a diversion right now.

Senior Contributor

Re: Trade war

maximum confusion and drama as a diversion right now


Yes I have been wondering what charges or new revelations on the investigations will be hitting the news today.


Throw up a smoke screen and hope the people do not notice the actual facts 

a bit wonky


Stock market etc. is currently being aided by low inflation, which is primarily a function of very slow wage gains (like that's a good thing, but anyway).


But input costs are going to push inflation higher and the Fed will tighten more.


There are no adults in the room, just reality tv politicians looking for optics and distraction..

BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: Trade war

So we`re supposed to let Canada and Mexico continue to steal our lunch money year after year? We finally elected a guy that ain`t gonna take it anymore....bout damned time if Mexico, Canada and China don`t want to play fair, the hell with `em.   They need us a lot more than we need them, it`s just they`ve screwed us for so long, now they feel entitled.