First some selected Krugman’ quotes on trump facts and tariffs, A Ranting Old Guy With Nukes:
1. Regarding being “factually challenged:”
…you can’t help noticing that his opinions seem a bit, well, factually challenged. No, we aren’t experiencing a huge wave of violent crime carried out by immigrants. No, we don’t give away vast sums in foreign aid. And so on down the list. Basically, what he imagines to be facts are things he thinks he heard somewhere, maybe on Fox News, and can’t be bothered to check.
2. Regarding tariffs on steel and aluminum, Trumps justification is “national security.”
After all, we can’t be dependent for our aluminum on unstable, hostile foreign powers like … Canada, our principal foreign supplier. (Canada is also our biggest foreign supplier of steel.)
Meanwhile, in the days since Trump’s announcement, he’s tweeted out one falsehood after another. And I don’t mean that he’s been saying things I disagree with; I mean that he’s been saying things that are simply, flatly wrong, even according to the U.S. government itself.
He has, for example, declared that we have large trade deficitswith Canada; actually, according to U.S. numbers, we run a small surplus.
The best argument I have heard against the steel & aluminum tariffs is the following:
- Steel and aluminum are not consumer products. They are used in the production of goods — for example beer kegs and automobiles.
- Imposing the tariffs raise the production cost of steel and aluminum goods.
- The tarrifs may have a minor positive effect on US employment in steel and aluminum production but they will make US steel and aluminum products less competitive.
- The result — reduced balance of trade and increased cost of US goods.
- If the tariffs result in a trade war things just get worse.
Does this sound like winning? So much for the the wonders of tariffs to increase US production. Hell of an idea Mr. Trump!