By Tom Quiner
President Trump wants to impose hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Is this a good idea?
It’s not hard to check out. George W. Bush did something similar in 2002. How did that work out? The Peterson Institute for International Economics studied the outcomes:
√ Steel jobs increased by 3500, but at a cost to consumers of $400,000 per job gained.
√ Bush had to issue exemptions to some 25% of manufacturers dependent upon steel and aluminum who would have been gravely wounded by this de facto tax increase on them.
√ “Bush’s steel tariffs cost 200,000 jobs by boosting the costs of nonsteel manufacturers. The estimated job loss was more than the total employment in the steel industry, which was 187,000 in December 2002.”
√ “The Trade Partnership ran the numbers through its economic models and came up with the estimate that Trump’s tariffs would create about 33,464 jobs in the steel and aluminum sectors, but cost 179,334 jobs throughout the rest of the economy — for a net loss of nearly 146,000 jobs.”
Key Trump rust belt states, such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia lost jobs last time we imposed these types of tariffs.
Will they stick with Republicans next go ’round if they’re back in the unemployment line? Tariffs are tax increases and job killers for working class American families. You know, Trump voters.