Our Views: A Court Knocks On Donald Trump Tariffs, But Will Joe Biden Listen? | Our views


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Sometimes there is an important 2: 1 decision and one wonders what the third minority thought.

With the decision of a court on the outrageous tariffs of President Donald Trump on metal imports, he imposed this by order of the executive branch.

The former president used a neglected provision called Section 232 to increase import taxes on a product when he saw it as a threat to national security. And Trump always did: the law was passed during the Cold War more than 50 years ago in the event that a shooting war broke out with the Soviet Union.

As you can imagine, the myriad tariffs Trump imposed over the course of four years – from steel to wine to agricultural products – had nothing to do with national security. Rather, the president pursued his policy without regard to the trouble of getting such absurd tariffs through Congress.

National security? “The term is elastic,” said the Wall Street Journal.

The US Commercial Court last week settled the case before the judges in a 2: 1 ruling on the metal tariffs.

However, we believe that all tariffs are controversial at best but generally unwise.

A duty is a tax that is levied on imported goods and products such as steel, but the cost is borne by the American consumer. We saw the prices of everything go up during Trump’s tariff regime, from dishwashers to automobiles to other metal goods.

Retaliatory acts by US trading partners included the democracies of Europe and Asia, not just the communist government of mainland China.

Now what if the abuse of the provisions of Section 232 is illegal? As the Journal noted, President Joe Biden appears in no hurry to overturn his predecessor’s protectionist policies.

Not a big surprise to us, as Biden supporters of organized labor have often teamed up with selected local manufacturers – such as steel mills – to limit competition. The slogan is: Protect American Jobs. In fact, the tariffs did little to make American manufacturing great again.

In Louisiana, we are blessed with the mighty Mississippi and a number of the country’s largest ports that depend on imports and exports. The tariffs are aimed at restricting imports. Tariff retaliation harms exports.

Trump policies were unwise and not in Louisiana’s best interests. Unfortunately, Biden hasn’t moved up fast enough in commerce, which is good for America and especially good for Louisiana.

Free trade is also an integral part of any effective long-term strategy against international troublemakers like China and Russia.

That is real national security.

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