Sunday, June 3, 2018

Justin Trudeau is Not a 14 Year Old School Girl...

...but I can forgive anyone who makes that mistake!

President Trump, in giving a justification for his steel and aluminum tariffs, said it's in the interest of national security.

"That Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States is inconceivable"
-Justin Trudeau

It really is all about you, isn't it Justin? Just for a moment, try to imagine the concept of what might go into a nation's national security. Vital natural resources? Infrastructure to feed and defend one's populace? The steel industry is crucial to a nation's defense. Hard to make guns, tanks and battleships without it. From a strategic standpoint, if the volume of imported steel were to rise to the point where it was no longer possible for steel manufactures to maintain a profit, they would go out of business. At that point a nation would be totally dependent on imports to maintain the economy and for the public defense.

If at some point after that, the steel exporting nations decided that they would put limits on sales or deny sales altogether, forcing that country to acquiesce to a foreign nation's demands, or perhaps to start an actual shooting war to resolve the problem.

That, my dear Justin is the lesson to be learned here. Stating that tariffs on certain products is in the interest of national security, does not indicate a proximate or immediate threat from any specific country, but a weakening of a vital strategic industry could prove detrimental in the long term, with a variety of different foes.

Please don't mistake this as an apologia for tariffs. One of the things that disturbed me greatly during the 2016 primaries was Trump's talks of tariffs which could lead to trade wars. I'm very dubious about the end results of these tariffs, although I would love to be proven wrong. But in theory, protecting an industry to keep it financially viable, whether it be dairy farmers or steel makers, is not a bad thing. Whether or not the tariffs actually accomplish this goal is a discussion for another time.

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