Thursday, April 19, 2018

Free Trade, or Trade War?

Ian Reinke

Mrs. Straub

AP Economics



Free Trade, or Trade War?


If anyone has been paying attention to news in the business world recently they’ve most likely come across some headlines reading along the lines of “Trade War With China”, “Tariffs Imposed on Chinese Goods”, or something of the like. Recently, in an effort to crack down on what the Trump Administration views to be “unfair” trade practices being committed by China on the United States. To enforce this crackdown, the administration has decided that the route that they would like to go about in would include posing trade tariffs, or a tax on imported goods, on multiple products that China sells here in the United States. China, in retaliation against what it sees to be a violation of its potential for economic growth has decided recently also to place its own tariffs on goods that companies in the United States ship and sell in the Chinese markets. These tariffs have included everything from washing machines to aluminum. More recently, China has even taken the step to threaten to impose sanctions on American-produced and grown “production crops”, a direct threat to the economy of some of the states, mostly located in the Southern United States, that voted heavily for Trump in the 2016 election. With no current stable end it sight, it remains to be seen whether or not threat of a trade war comes to fruition.

To make matters even the more frightening, China’s commerce ministry stated last week Thursday that, “China will not enter into any negotiations while under threat from the United States” and that “China will follow through to the end and fight resolutely” (NPR). Without any substantial potential for talks, aside from the fact that the current administration might find future implementations of sanctions to be taken as incredibly personal - as they would be directly attacking the guarded constituency of states making up the Republican party - it remains to be seen whether any amelioration of the current crisis can come to reach reality.

In my personal view, in addition to what many proponents of free trade would say, would be that the existence and newfound appearance of these tariffs and their imposition will end up very badly for not only both the economies and consumers of the United States and the People’s Republic of China, but also the world economy as a whole. Consumers in both nations will be forced to spend more money on these goods due to there existing a hefty tax now on them, and will ultimately result in much political and economic woes in the both countries’ constituencies. Higher prices are something that no one wants, and continuing with free trade - without the existence of any tariffs or other barriers - is the right way to go and internationally the world economy will thank us for it.





Sources Cited

Press, DAKE KANGAssociated. “In China, Soybean Industry Shrugs off Risks of Tariffs.”, 14 Apr. 2018, www.pressherald.com/2018/04/13/in-china-soybean-industry-shrugs-off-risks-of-tariffs/.

Gonzales, Richard. “Trump Threatens China With Additional $100 Billion Of Tariffs; China Ready To Fight.” , NPR, 6 Apr. 2018, www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/05/600014441/trump-suggests-more-tariffs-may-be-coming.

Mcdonald, Joe. “Chinese Exporters Scramble to Cope with Trump Tariff Hike.” , ABC News Network, 16 Apr. 2018, abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/chinese-exporters-scramble-cope-trump-tariff-hike-54493955.

11 comments:

  1. I agree that imposing these restrictions would be detrimental to our economy, mostly because of how intertwined our economy is with China's. We owe so much to them in the form of a trade deficit, and they export just as much to us. If we were to take steps to endanger this trade partnership, it might hurt the US economy more than it hurts China. We have such a large reliance on Chinese imports that if they increase prices or limit our trade, it would be difficult for us to find another country we can trade so heavily with.

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  2. Like you said in the last paragraph, these tariffs will not just effect us, but the world's economy as a whole. The United States and China are some of the top leaders in the world's economy, and making it difficult for countries to trade will not allow some of the poorer countries to trade as much. There are also things that we as consumers forgot about sometimes, because we take for granted the relative cheap-ness of our products. Soon, the prices of everyday items like soda will increase because of the steel and aluminum tariffs. Its time for negotiations with China to create a beneficial and comprehensive plan.

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  3. Trump better have valid reasoning for his wayward actions if and when China imposes tariffs that raise prices of goods that many Americans rely on for their paltry value. Eventually, as with all matters with this course of action, the Trump presidency will likely find itself in another predicament, further showing the problems with a President with no prior time in office.

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  4. I think at this point, since the United States and China have such large economies, they are both just trying to one-up each other rather than working together to make trade as efficient as possible.

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  5. I agree that the United States should have been more cautious before taking action. Chinese trading practices were admittedly unfair before the "war" began -- their tariffs on US goods were already much higher than US tariffs on Chinese goods -- however, both countries are reliant on each other and, as you mentioned, their trade issues will have international impact. Rather than increasing all tariffs, negotiating a lower tariff on US goods would have been more beneficial.

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  6. In recent news there has been a lot of talk about tariffs that are being put on goods by both China and the United States. The U.S. has lifted those tariffs but CHina is keeping hard pressure on them. This could be a big economic impact on the United States because China is taxing everything that is exported out of the country and into our country. This includes everything from furniture to cars. Tariffs could impact the U.S. because if the tariffs are continually raised that means that the U.S. is put more and more in debt. Also, we get the majority of our goods from China so if we stopped trading with China we would lose a lot of the goods we currently have.

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  7. I'm in agreement that spontaneously starting a trade war wasn't the best course of action for the US. Raising tariffs out of spite will never benefit the US's or China's economy in the long run and instead there should have been proper negotiations that could come out to a mutually beneficial solution. Personally I would love to have seen a deregulation of China's internet censorship programs as that would allow US tech companies to break into the large market that is China's population.

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  8. I agree with your stance on the issue that the US should have attempted to negotiate with China before the situation escalated into a "trade war". Both countries depend on one another for goods and services which makes the trade conflict arbitrary and unnecessary when you think about possible long term consequences for both America and China if this continues. Rather than instigate the argument further, the US should be attempting to make amends with China or at the very least communicate about a potential solution.

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  9. I agree that the US should have tried a different approach that placing tariffs on China's goods, because we as a nation depend on their goods, and vice versa. It's frustrating because the people they are hurting the most are the consumers who use these items in their daily lives. I think the situation could've been handled much differently and more maturely by both governments. Instead of punishing each other they should focus on negotiating peacefully as to not hurt or punish the majority of the population.

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  10. If economics has taught me anything, it is that trade is necessary for the prosperity of nations. I agree, that we should stop the war, and look to make the world better through free trade. Higher prices, and cost of productions hurt everybody. In addition to this, I would like to comment on how remarkable your vernacular is! Also congratulations on Dartmouth.

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