Our President thinks he can flip the script. "[T]here is no indication that Trump is worried about whether his tariffs could backfire against the American economy."
Maybe the better metaphor is masochists spanking each other?
Trump's defenders are quick to point out that China is feeling the squeeze of tariffs too—and they're right. But thinking about a trade war as something that one side wins and the other side loses is really not the proper framing. Both sides lose. The competition is over who loses worse.Yes, the negotiators are taking care of the more vocal rent-seekers such as automobile and agricultural interests. Boat-builders? Collateral damage.
That's because trade makes both sides better off. Even if America "wins" the trade war, it's not hard to see how hurting China will end up hurting America in the long run. Weakening the world's two biggest economies isn't really a great strategy for continued global growth, especially considering how interwoven the two nations' economies are.
Given those domestic and global economic realities, it's difficult to understand Trump's desire for more tariff-caused suffering as anything other than sadistic.
Rob Parmentier has weathered some rough times in the boat building business, but the trade wars with China, Europe, Canada and Mexico have shaken him to the core.The Marquis-Larson powerboats are small enough to be trucked to Green Bay, or, essentially, anywhere on the inland or sea coasts, for delivery. There are lots of other things that are relatively small and easy to ship, and they're being hammered as well.
“It’s been catastrophic,” said Parmentier, president and CEO of Marquis-Larson Boat Group, which builds Carver yachts in Pulaski.
The first “hand grenade,” as Parmentier described it, was a 25 percent tariff the European Union placed this year on boats built in the U.S., along with scores of other products including Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Then there was a 10 percent tariff slapped on boats shipped to Canada, along with price increases up to 40 percent on boat building materials.
It’s sent a shock wave through U.S. boat manufacturers.
“We’ve had a lot of order cancellations. Canada and Europe have essentially stopped buying boats,” Parmentier said.
Across America’s heartland, small and midsize manufacturers are reeling from higher costs and lost business attributed to a breakdown in foreign trade.Yes, and the Chinese now have the right to pay higher prices for domestically sourced ginseng bourbon.
While some have benefited, others have been hammered by rising tariffs — a tax on imported or exported goods — on products including boats, electronics, sporting goods, bourbon and baby cribs, to name a few.
The tariffs that China recently placed on American ginseng and bourbon, for example, have clobbered Great Northern Distilling, in Plover, which makes ginseng-infused bourbon.Eleven workers here, eleven workers there, a hundred boat-builders someplace else, it starts to add up.
It's cost the company 25 percent of its sales.
"All of the buyers have cold feet now. They've said until this gets resolved, they're not placing an order," said Brian Cummins, co-founder of the distillery, which has 11 employees.