Protecting the United States’ low productivity and outdated industries fly in the face of common sense. In my earlier blogs, I talked about the economic street, with the rich at the top and the poor at the bottom (of the street). It is inevitable that the rich nations will as a matter of their economic evolution transfer the dirtier and low skilled jobs down the street.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. The principals are as follows: if we can enhance vital but dirty industries by the application of advancing technology and in so doing either make those industries or commodities cleaner or more competitive. Achieving these goals has the obvious advantage of improving competitiveness and improving both product and environmental standards as well as preserving jobs.
However, simply putting up a tariff wall, will only preserve the unpreservable, since both economic and quality demands are not sustainable. I.e. poorer quality and lower competition will degrade both market prospects and financial viability.
Trump, for all his off the wall creativity, is it seems to me, is economically illiterate. The only thing he is likely to achieve is slowing demand for American finished goods, serious retaliation from the USA’s hitherto trading partners, a lack of capital for R & D, a poorer environment, and of course the hastening of a world recession. It’s perhaps worth adding that he’ll secure the rust belt vote which will sustain his Presidency to another term. He’s just protecting Mr. Trump, he’s not protecting America.