Trade war one-year anniversary: A hopeless economic hell

America is about to “celebrate” the one-year anniversary of the start of Trump’s trade war.

On January 22, 2018, the man with more business failures than successes — including four bankruptcies — began his assault on the U.S. economy by imposing YUGE tariffs on solar panels and washing machines manufactured outside the US.

The case for tariffs on washing machines was pushed by Michigan-based Whirlpool chairman Jeff Fettig who claimed that tariffs would create new manufacturing jobs in several Midwest states.

“This is a victory for American workers and consumers alike,” Fettig said, despite historical evidence that tariffs create few jobs and always result in higher prices — a point made by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) at the time. “Moms and Dads shopping on a budget for a new washing machine will pay for this — not big companies.”

So, on this one-year anniversary, was Sasse correct? Yep! 100 percent!

Samsung North America CEO Tim Baxter said in a recent interview with FOX Business that Trump’s tariffs have had a negative impact on the prices of Samsung products.

The industry actually ended up after the imposition of the section 201 [tariffs] about a $100 price increase on literally all laundry products. So, a category that was growing with the GDP is actually contracted in 2018.” (Emphasis mine.)

Did you notice he said that “the industry,” not just Samsung, had increased prices? Did you also notice that the industry “was growing” before Trump started his trade war?

By the way, the word “contracted” should be setting off alarm bells. When enough segments of an economy contract over a period of time, you end up with a recession.

Now that the full impact of Trump’s trade war is being felt, we’re beginning to see that he is hurting many sectors of the economy. Here are just a few areas making the news recently:

  • U.S. manufacturing slowed to a six-month low in October
  • Farmers are being crushed by China’s retaliatory tariffs
  • The housing market is showing signs of slowing down due to the rising cost of labor and materials
  • U.S. steel prices are now the highest in the world
  • Automakers Ford and GM are cutting jobs and shuttering plants due to high steel prices and slow sales

According to recent estimates by the National Taxpayer’s Union Foundation, the annual cost of Trump’s tariffs on consumers will be $41.65 billion next year and will exceed the taxes Americans will pay for Obamacare ($34.6 billion).

For those of you hoping that Trump will realize the error of his ways and reverse course, let me quote the sign hanging over the entrance to Hell from Dante’s Inferno. “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

It was recently announced that Trump will use his upcoming State Of The Union address to urge Congress to pass new legislation expanding his trade war powers. The proposal will give Trump more authority to raise tariffs without Congressional approval and already has the support of key Republicans.

You know, quoting Dante was more appropriate than I realized. Trump’s trade war is creating an economic hell, and it looks like we should abandon all hope that he’ll be stopped.



David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His politically incorrect and always “right” columns are also featured on

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