Trump Nails Trade Hypocrisy, by John Hinderaker.
President Trump’s participation in the G7 conference in Canada focused on trade. Once again, he made it clear that he wants our trading partners’ tariffs and other barriers to U.S. imports to come down. This gave the American press the vapors, but why? Our president certainly should try to reduce obstacles to sales of American goods.
President Trump gave a press conference this morning in which he expressed his belief in free trade: …
THE PRESIDENT: And no subsidies. I even said no tariffs. In other words, let’s say Canada — where we have tremendous tariffs — the United States pays tremendous tariffs on dairy. As an example, 270 percent. Nobody knows that. We pay nothing. …
Trump is right that most countries protect their agricultural industries with tariff and non-tariff barriers. (The EU’s ban on GMO crops is an example of a non-tariff barrier that is rational only as an act of protectionism.)
Australia and the US have very efficient agricultural sectors, so our interests are aligned here:
The U.S. has the most efficient agricultural sector in the world, and since most countries can’t compete with our farmers, they erect trade barriers. How is this any different from our imposing tariffs on steel or automobiles? It isn’t.
Does Canada actually impose a 270% tariff on American dairy products, as Trump keeps saying? Yes, it does, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Company:
Canada levies a tariff of 270 per cent on milk, 245 per cent on cheese and 298 per cent on butter in an effort to keep imports out and tightly control supply.
So Trump is right. A world without tariffs is a desirable goal, but a world in which the U.S. has no tariffs, but other countries erect barriers to our products, is not.
I listened carefully to the Australian ABC’s nightly news last night. No mention that Trump wanted to reduce the huge tariffs the other countries there apply to some US goods. The ABC only reported on the other countries being uncomfortable with what Trump was saying, not what he said. So dishonest of our ABC.