The President’s Tariff Plan: Dangerous for Ohio

Check out some of the responses to President Trump’s sudden announcement that he’ll put tariffs on imported steel and aluminum:

  • Ohio State economist Ned Hill told National Public Radio that tariffs would be “devastating” for Ohio; it’s “inevitable” that we’ll face retaliation. “Agriculture is still a very important part of Ohio,” Hill said. “Corn exports and soybean exports are critical. And if we put a large tariff on Canadian or Mexican steel, and they retaliate with a tariff on agricultural products knowing that Argentina and Brazil, our competitor, can fill the hole, all of a sudden you blow a hole in the inner important part of the economy of the state.”
  • Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah said the tariffs would be a "huge job-killing tax hike."
  • Republican Senator Pat Roberts, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee said, “Every time you do this, you get a retaliation. And agriculture is the number one target. I think this is terribly counterproductive for the (agriculture) economy."
  • Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska said, “The President is proposing a massive tax increase on American families.” It “will kill American jobs,” he said.
  • The Wall Street Journal called the tariffs “the biggest policy blunder of his presidency.”

I share the deep concerns being voiced. Yes, the U.S. should work to promote fair and reciprocal trade, and we should push back against harmful foreign trade practices. But not with tariffs. We need our leaders to tweak and better enforce our existing trade deals. Any successful strategy on trade must involve working productively with our allies to make trade fairer, not provoking hostility.

Frankly, the President’s plan is dangerous, and his recent twitter remark that “trade wars are good, and easy to win” is alarming and shows that he does not understand basic economics of international trade.

So with the widespread harsh reaction to the President’s plan, what I’d like to know is where is Jim Jordan? Why isn’t he speaking out for the interests of local Ohioans? Why isn’t he warning of the dangers of retaliation against Ohio corn and soybean exports? Why isn’t he concerned about the danger of job losses? Why is Jim Jordan AWOL again?

Janet GarrettComment