Playing the Indian Card

Saturday, March 17, 2018

About Those US Steel Tariffs

I am and have always been a liberal, in the true sense of the word. I believe in free trade. It is the issue on which I parted company with the Canadian Liberal Party, which shockingly came out against it in the 1980s. Violating their oldest principles.

On this issue, free trade, Donald Trump, with his protectionist talk, is not my man.

However, I see the logic in his recent imposition of stiff tariffs on imported aluminium and steel.

A lot of people are missing the point. This is not about trade or protectionism.

This is about national defense.

Suppose there is a long general war. Without ready supplies of steel and aluminium for munitions, any nation will soon be dead in the water.

Accordingly, it is only prudent for the US to sustain, artificially if necessary, a healthy steel and aluminium industry.

It is not just the issue of possibly being at war with your supplier. It is also the issue of having to transport supplies across vast oceans, vulnerable to disruption at sea.

Accordingly, it also makes sense that Trump has exempted Canada and Mexico from these tariffs. Land transportation is much more reliable, and it is hard to conceive of either being a future enemy. Even if they were, the US could probably overrun them before supplies of materiel even became an issue. 

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