the european union has announced new tariffs inresponse to the united states’s tariffs on steel or aluminum, these tariffs were announced by the trump administration indicating that there would be heavy taxes on imports of steel and aluminum from the european union, mexico, and also canada. the e.u. wasn’t happy about this, neither were mexico or canada, and they have retaliated — so we might be feeling the negative impacts of this trade war relatively soon. also keep in mind that they are planning to heavily tax products, american products, including — the united states and the european union do a great deal of trade — also — it’s kind of incredible what we trade. it’s incredible that it’s corduroy pants, that’s the one thing on the list that jumped out at me. the most american thing out there, corduroy pants. also paper towels because we are used to just throwing things away. this will have a negative impact on workers here in the united states as well as consumers, and i will get into those numbers in a minute but i want to open this up to you guys, tell me what you think about this. are there situations in which tariffs make sense? in this case it seems as though trump went at it in a very unsophisticated not nuanced, not well thought out way.
that isn’t like him. this is sort of ham-fisted, you usually don’t find tariffs between allies that have decent trade histories, of course we will all end up paying more for these items, and as ana hinted this could escalate and you could find tariffs on european cars and sort of bigger ticket items, and this is in a sense a new, and when i say new, it’s been decades old now, but in the modern age it’s another kind of war, they call it a trade war for a reason. increasingly many wars and many tensions are worked out on the planet with economics at their base, right? now we are really about trade and the world economy and the balance in that world economy, so i’m concern, i think if you — and again as ana says — if you impose policies that aren’t well thought out, that don’t have a good long-term strategy behind them, you can end up in this sort of trade war tension with countries that you didn’t have tensions with and you don’t have a tense history with, and all of a sudden you could find america in a much different place. some of you might wonder why is vladimir putin on the master graphic behind us, this has nothing to do with putin, except it does, he has capitalized and taken advantage of this situation because he started saying back in 2007 that the united states is too restrictive, their idea of exceptionalism is damaging and destructive to other countries, and their overuse of sanctions is dangerous. that was an argument he made during the obama administration back in 2007. now, fast forward to today, right after trump issues these tariffs and this trade war starts off, putin has this basically teleconference with the people of russia and he starts arguing that, i told you, i told the international world, watch out for those americans, might not want to work with them because they will turn on you, i’m paraphrasing what he said, i want to give you his exact statements — now, mind you, these tariffs affect are allies.
so the way he is framing it in my opinion is actually pretty accurate and it essentially messages to the world, hey, if you are a u.s. ally you might get sanctioned in the future. that is what is happening now, nobody wanted to listen and no one did anything to stop this from developing, now there you go, you’ve been hit, dinner is served, now sit down and eat. putin said that. also — now, in that portion of the conversation he was specifically referring to ukraine, and how ukraine could potentially go after russian support in the country, and if they do that russia would retaliate. so that was an interesting, you know, culmination to that little teleconference he was doing and it kind of worried me, but with that said, these tariffs are not good when it comes to our relationships with our allies, they are not good when it comes to how much consumers will spend for products, they are not good for manufacturers here in the united states who rely on that material in order to produce their products. so quickly i want to go to some of those numbers — now, the idea is let’s bring steel and aluminum back to the united states, it will create more jobs, but again every job we create for steel and aluminum we will lose 16 jobs, and those jobs will come from factories that rely on that material — and remember, if it is manufactured in the united states naturally it will cost more and those costs will either be transferred to the consumers or what employers will do is cut workers to save some money. i wrote a lot down. there’s a lot going on. clearly. i will start with some of the putin stuff, he was talking about the table is served, he’s also very self-serving because inserting ukraine into this conversation, and what tariffs would look like to the balance of the world economy, we know why he put ukraine in there.
and it comes a week before the world cup, which is all these nations convening in russia, it’s a little promotion for him, and also number three putin is backing this guy heavily, so he’s trying to play both sides, and going back to this imbecilic, it sounds like he is middle school student body president and heard about what is happening with steel and then said guess what, let’s just impose tariffs so we can build up our industry and not think anything beyond that. and his lemmings will believe it, and again this is 1950s not just exceptionalism, american exceptionalism, but this isolationist politics that feels like it can be disconnected from the world and that we have enough industry, product, innovation, to build within and enough consumption within, and that’s not the case. and not lastly but another point is that okay, i want to see what — how much tariffs mexico is going to put on the trump suits that they make over there, and see if anybody in the u.s. will buy them. but we have this discussion about agribusiness in the u.s. and how highly subsidized it is, those are the other products that are going to come next which is agriculture, and are subsidized corn industry is what has devastated mexico’s economy and its indigenous farmers, it’s farmers that grow corn, rely on corn, and can’t make corn to compete in their own market with u.s. corn that is so heavily subsidized that it undercuts their corn, they are trying to come to the u.s., so maybe that saves them to some degree, but we were having this discussion about how there is no free market in america and we all buy into the solution that companies and corporations just interact on the world stage in a fair playing field but that’s not the case come of these governments help each other, help the corporations out, and the only real debates between republicans and democrats are which sort of folks are they willing to help out? are they willing to help out corporations, different types of corporations, or really, really left-wing democrats who say, no, i want to subsidize people in this country. let me guess, they want to help corporations. very few of those left-wing politicians want to subsidize people. and just to clarify, in case there was any mistake, when the argument is made on this show that there is really no free market, it’s not the argument that right-wingers make, which is there is too much regulation. no, there is actually a lack of regulation which leads to monopolies in the country which leads to the government propping up certain industries, like energy industries for instance, or telecommunications companies, allowing antitrust regulations to fall by the wayside while these huge corporate buyouts happen. so those are the issues that really destroy our true free-market, and it’s pretty devastating. look, we will see how this all plays out, there are small farmers, real small farmers, i’m not talking about massive corporations who present themselves as farmers, who will be hurt by what the trump administration is doing, and generally speaking those people have supported trump. so we will see how this plays out, i don’t want anyone to suffer economically more than we’ve already suffered economically, but the way he has gone about these tariffs has not been well thought out, and that’s not to say that tariffs are always bad, it’s just that you have to think about the cost benefit analysis and it doesn’t seem as though he did that in this case. last thing, putin is the leader of a heavily sanctioned country, the sanctions under obama that came to russia were largely because of human rights violations, putin is not a nice guy and he has journalists and political opponents jailed and killed, so there are a lot of sanctions that have more to do with that than the economics of things, but he’s folded sanctions into everything because it takes the stink off of the sanctions that are associated with russia. that’s just a last sort of coda on this, that’s why he uses the word sanctions. and this is all self-serving for putin, you are right about that, and this is my speculation but he has been supportive, he has preferred trump over hillary clinton, for instance, as the president, and i think part of the reason why is because trump is not fit to be a president. he is not sophisticated in any way, he has no sophisticated understanding of things. trump’s policies are playing into the narrative that putin wants to lay out for the — internationally come and that’s what concerns me. like, he wants power over the united states, that’s a very clear tactic, and i think that he’s succeeding. i know you have to take a break, i love that you said that because formerly putin of course was the biggest bully on the block, but now america, at least as cast by putin now in this new world order if you will, they are the biggest bullies. trump’s trade war, his militarism, putin is playing trump as the biggest bully in the world and that’s a throne that putin is all too happy to vacate to donald trump. so i love that you mentioned that because putin is trying to recast our impression of this country.
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