Latest US Trade Casualties: Nails, Whiskey, Cranberries, Lobster, and Autos Too.

In Trump's global trade war, the latest US casualties are whiskey, cranberry, nail, and lobster industries. Autos too.

As Trump threatens tariffs on all auto imports from Europe, the EU Says It Will Respond.

“If they decide to raise their import tariffs, we’ll have no choice, again, but to react,” EU Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen told French newspaper Le Monde.

“We don’t want to fight (over trade) in public via Twitter. We should end the escalation,” he said in the comments published on Saturday.

How to End the Escalation

No one has figured out the obvious. The way to end the escalation is to stop responding!

Meanwhile, Trump has not figured out that Tariffs on European Cars Would Hurt US Auto Jobs.

German automakers Mercedes, BMW, and Volkswagen all have plants in southern states and directly employ more than 20,000 US workers between them, primarily at those factories. Volvo is just starting production at its first US plant in South Carolina.

BMW's largest plant in the world, in South Carolina, built 371,000 cars last year. It exported more than 70% of those cars to other countries. By contrast, BMW only imported 202,000 cars to the US from its German plants.

Build Them Here

And lower sales will cost jobs at car dealerships, which employ more people than the automakers' assembly plants. Let's look beyond autos.

Please consider Lobsters, Small-Batch Whiskey and Trump’s Trade War.

Nails

Mid Continent, the largest American producer of nails, imports steel from Mexico to make its nails. That steel is now subject to the 25 percent tariffs that Mr. Trump imposed on dozens of countries, forcing Mid Continent to raise its prices by nearly 20 percent.

Orders have plummeted by 50 percent this month as the company tries to compete with cheaper foreign-made nails. Those foreign manufacturers are not facing higher steel costs, giving them an advantage over Mid Continent.

The company, which employs about 500 workers, has already cut 60 jobs. It could potentially cut 200 more in the coming weeks.

Whiskey

To meet a global thirst for American whiskey in recent years, distilleries that make bourbon and rye — and sell it around the world — have sprung up across the country. But this week the European Union applied a 25 percent duty to American whiskey in response to Mr. Trump’s steel tariffs, spiking the prices of the iconic American tipple on the Continent.

For small distillers like Scott Harris, a founder of Catoctin Creek Distillery in Purcellville, Va., this has dampened happy hour.

“We are just launching into the European market now in a big way, and this could be the worst possible timing for us,” Mr. Harris said. “We’re probably going to see all of our European sales now come to a screeching halt.”

Comments
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Stuki
Stuki

Oh, no! How could I be so uninformed!

Robber Barrons were what Jedediah Smith woke up fearing every morning! Scary buggers too, they were no doubt, roaming around the Rockies "running" the country!

Thank you so much for demonstrating how much more attention you obviously paid to what you were told to mindlessly regurgitate by government "educators" than poor me ever did!

Stuki
Stuki

The Soviets tried the "run by 'workers'" trick already. Didn't work.

While the Anglo countries have been plugging away at the "run by elites." Which, as is becoming increasingly obvious, didn't work all that well either.

And Japan, along with some continental European countries, have been trying "run by technocrats." Nope. Didn't work either.....

All conveniently forgetting that America, from Jefferson and to about a century and a few decades later, worked like gangbusters. For as long as most of the country were effectively "ran by" nobody. From wilderness to wonderland in less time than it later took a Federal Reserve and the other progressive institutions of oppression to render America's urban working and middle classes homeless, childless and suitably indentured, by debt and "Rule of Law."

You'd kind of hope someone would have the brains to take a hint.... But perhaps the whole publicly funded "education" rackets employed by Soviets, Anglos and technocrats alike, is one thing that is working as intended for them, after all....

themonosynaptic
themonosynaptic

We've seen this movie before. In the 1980s Japan was the boogie man. MITI was centrally coordinating Japanese manufacturing and the Japanese were playing games to restrict imports into their country.

The inevitable happened - when the World changed the Japanese bureaucrats didn't see it and the more nimble capitalism of the U.S. bounced back.

The same will happen with China. No human or human agency understands the World's economy or the trends that will impact it over the next decade, and any attempt is reminiscent of King Canute. The Chinese seem determined to learn this lesson the hard way.

We can sustain decades of net imports because the dollar is the World's reserve currency and is not subject to the same forces that other currencies are - thus we print pieces of paper in return for an outsized share of the World's output.

This is a pointless trade war, with no viable end state that allows us to declare victory, and is simply going to hurt people until it stops.

Advanced education and relatively free markets gave America its lead over the rest of the World, coupled with a large internal market, and the only undamaged economy in 1945. We squander these advantages at our peril.

Realist
Realist

Ron j. I am not Republican, Democrat, nor American. Trump definitely plays the politics of hate. You would have to be blind, deaf and dumb not to see it.