Weeks ago, President Trump announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum, supposedly in an effort to jog the American economy. At the time, he also announced that trade wars were “good, and easy to win.” His economic rivals reminded him that this had not proven true at any point in American history.
His economic rivals were right, of course. Raising tariffs may be decent security policy from time to time, but it’s bad economic policy: trade wars are unwinnable, because in “winning” a trade war, you’re taxing your own citizens. And each time the country you’re tariffing responds with new tariffs, you’re destroying your own export market as well.
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