Trump’s trade war started economic woes



Steve Corbin, professor emeritus of marketing, discusses President Trump’s trade war and its impact on the economy.

Letter to the Editor

Being forced to use postulates, axioms, theorems and inductive and deductive reasoning to find proofs and a solution to high school Geometry problems became a great precursor and positive omen for surviving in life.

Multiple actions during Donald Trump’s first two years of office are building momentum and one theorem is that his ill-conceived trade war has created a domestic and international economic crisis.

It’s important to understand when Trump dictated that increased tariffs should be paid on foreign goods imported to America, we now have to pay an additional tax to purchase those products.  Here are 14 postulates for you to ponder:

First, due to Trump’s belligerent isolationism-related trade war and ensuing erratic flip-flopping behavior, businesses from other countries are now circumventing working with American-owned corporations.  Countries surpassing USA as easy-to-work-with include Hong Kong-China, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Denmark, Norway and Georgia.

Second, Trump’s self-imposed trade war, withdrawal from the 12 nation Trans-Pacific Partnership and berating arguments with Mexican and Canadian leaders has created international uncertainty; 198 countries we have traded with for 70 years no longer trust the United States to be a reliable partner who will honor trade agreements.  Forgiving someone who hurt you is easy, but trusting them again is next to impossible.

Third, with America shirking its historic global trade partnerships, research is replete that Russia, China and India are now seizing the opportunity to fill the vacuum and are extending their spheres of influence with heretofore American allies and trading partners.

Fourth, due to the trade war, U.S. agricultural sales to China are running $3.2 billion behind last year’s sales, U.S. sales of pork, soybeans and other food products to China will fall nearly 40 percent next year and net farm income to fall 13 percent this year; Iowa will lose $1.4 million in revenue.

Fifth, investors and traders from 60 worldwide stock markets have concluded recent stock market volatility and wild price swings are directly related to rising trade war skepticism.  The uncertainty of Trump’s next action and not knowing whether he will reverse any policy to appease his Republican base and Fox News economic advisors isn’t calming investors.

Sixth, in the past six months Trump has assigned four different people to negotiate with China (i.e., Wilbur Ross, Lawrence Kudlow, Steven Mnuchin and Robert Lighthizer).  Our allies’ leaders of trade rely on long-term relationships versus short-term appointees; no one likes continual change.

Seventh, the conservative Wall Street Journal reported America’s economy was in trouble when Trump withdrew from the TPP, stating “… the biggest losers are American producers . . . withdrawal from TPP is a deadweight economic loss . . . the U.S. withdrawal from TPP was one of the worst own-goals in recent economic history.”  Trump’s international tariff sanctions followed his autocratic TPP decision.

  Facts numbered eight through 14 related to the trade war include: small-business optimism and confidence in U.S. economy has fallen, prospects for higher income are waning, consumer confidence is receding, the U.S. dollar has declined in value, deceleration of factory activity is occurring, home construction and sales are declining and a reduction in demand for goods made in America is occurring.

Fourteen pieces of evidence is sufficient proof for me.  Trump’s trade war started the world’s economic woes.

Contact your U.S. Representative and Senators demanding they reign in our authoritarian-in-Chief by declaring Trump’s June 15, 2018 tariff sanction under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 whereas trading with China, Mexico, Canada, Europe, et al, “threatened our national security” is illogical, illegal and harming all Americans . . . your job, income, lifestyle and retirement depends on taking bold action.