I am not a fan of tariffs. I think they’re better used as a threat, as the President did to pressure Mexico to help with our border crisis, than as an actual policy. The reason is simple: It’s a tax against American people and American businesses. China doesn’t pay tariffs. Companies in China pay them directly, but those costs get shuffled back to American importers, which get shuffled to American businesses, which get shuffled to American consumers.
In the end, Americans are the ones paying tariffs imposed on other countries such as China.
But now that we’re in a trade war with China, we must win it. Opposing the tariffs at this stage would be counterproductive for conservatives and disingenuous for progressives. If conservatives want free trade, the fastest path to get there is victory in the form of a trade agreement with China, and that can only happen by the President keeping up and increasing tariff pressure. As for progressives, they were all in favor of tariffs for decades until President Trump issued them. Suddenly, they seem to forget that “fair trade” is a mantra of people like Senators Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders, especially as it pertains to China. Both pressed for tariffs during the Obama administration.
There’s a scene in the popular television show Breaking Bad in which Mike tells Walter a story about half-measures. It’s worth a watch, if only to see the incredible acting. But it’s also worth a watch to understand why now that we’re in a tariff war, we have to push all the way forward.
We are in a trade war. Whatever your feelings are about tariffs, now’s not the time to take the ideological high road. We push all the way until the job is done and then we get back to free trade as quickly as possible.
We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.
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