The biggest losers? American workers.

Jobs & the Economy
We’re all for smart enforcement actions against unfair trade practices, but President Trump’s actions to date have completely missed the mark. The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board has some strong words for President Trump and his scattershot tariffs that increase prices for American consumers, hurt American workers, and are already shipping jobs overseas. Read the highlights here:
“Donald Trump’s trade war has been an abstraction for most Americans so far, but the retaliation has now begun in earnest and the casualties are starting to mount. The President’s beloved stock market took another header Monday on news of more restrictions on investment into the U.S., and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is now down for 2018. But the biggest losers Monday were the American workers who make Harley-Davidson motorcycles whose jobs will soon be headed overseas thanks to the Trump tariffs.”

“…In retaliation for Mr. Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, the European Union raised its tax on American-exported Harleys to 31% from 6%, effective last Friday. That amounts to a $2,200 tax on each motorcycle exported from the U.S. to the EU.”

“The only response White House press secretary Sarah Sanders could muster on Monday to the Harley news is that ‘the European Union is trying to punish U.S. workers by engaging in unfair trade practices.’ But the Harley harm is made in America—that is, the White House.

“The protectionist pain isn’t limited to Harley. Mid-Continent Nail of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, makes about half of the nails produced in America. But Mexican steel wire is the company’s main input, and it’s now subject to a 25% tariff. Mid-Continent tried passing that added cost to consumers, but purchases plummeted and buyers cancelled existing orders, opting for cheaper Chinese nails. The company has already cut 60 employees from its workforce of 500, and it will likely soon lay off 200 more. It’s now pinning its hopes on a tariff exemption from the Commerce Department, which is grappling with a backlog of 21,000 similar petitions.”

The list of job casualties will continue to grow. A June report by the economic consulting firm Trade Partnerships Worldwide estimates a net loss of 400,445 jobs over the next three years because of the steel and aluminum tariffs, quotas and retaliation. That’s 16 jobs lost for each steel or aluminum job gained.”

“The damage is likely to have political consequences, as the retaliatory tariffs target industries in swing states. Wisconsin produces more than 90% of America’s ginseng, and 95% of that comes from Marathon County. The county went for Mr. Trump in 2016, but it’s now wrestling with the consequences of China’s new 15% retaliatory tariff. Mr. Trump is also going to have some explaining to do to Wisconsin cranberry farmers, Florida orange-juice producers, and Iowa soy and corn growers.”

Good luck to Republicans running on the Trump tariffs in November.”