President Donald Trump’s panoply of economic policies created the greatest economy in at least a hundred years.
Every aspect of Trump’s panoply is important. Cutting taxes is good. Cutting regulations is even better.
But we saw wage improvements – especially at the low end of the spectrum – that we haven’t seen in many decades.
And they were largely the result of two Trump policies:
More stringent immigration and border enforcement. And Trump’s tariff-wielding trade policies.
Open borders is awful for America’s low wage earners. Because we have been mass importing the entire planet to compete with them for gigs. Which of course drives down wages. Because math.
And companies have for decades abused the daylight out of our twenty-three different work visas. Time and again firing citizens and replacing them with cheaper foreigners. And often adding insult to injury – forcing the fired to train their replacements before leaving.
By tightening the human import spigot, Trump has drained the US Labor Pool. Which increases the wages for those in it. Because math.
Meanwhile, decades of bad government policy drove millions of companies either out of business – or out of the country.
Our stupid, unilateral trade policies were a titanic contributor to the mercantile exodus to foreign lands.
A company that relocates from the US to anywhere else – becomes the beneficiary of those countries’ protectionist policies.
The foreign countries’ tariffs and import limits on US goods – now protect them. The foreign countries’ subsidies – now enrich them.
Meanwhile, we imposed virtually no tariffs or import limits on anything from anywhere. Giving our businesses a really stark choice:
Stay in the US and pay through the nose to gain very limited access to every other foreign country.
Or move to a foreign country. Get their protections against the US’s world’s-largest-economy. While getting free, unfettered access to the US’s world’s-largest-economy. All the while getting subsidized to compete against US-based companies.
This was not a difficult decision. Businesses left by the millions. And took their jobs with them.
And as a result, these foreign-based US companies formed the financial and ideological core of what became the massive, bipartisan, multitudinous DC Globalist Trade Lobby.
The DC Globalists have spent billions of lobby dollars. Working to ensure the US did nothing to defend itself against the rest of the planet taking mass advantage of US.
They do nothing against – or even lobby for – more US government spending, taxes and regulations. Because why not? They don’t have to pay the price. But their US-based competitors do.
All the while, they flood the US market with subsidized, unimpeded cheap stuff. With which our domestic producers can not possibly compete.
And again: While our domestic producers are drowned domestically by subsidized, unimpeded foreign stuff – they are not allowed the same unfettered access to the places from where the subsidized, unimpeded foreign stuff comes to drown them.
The nonsense anti-US Global Trade Lobby grew and grew and grew. For decades. And our job and wage markets got worse and worse and worse. For decades.
Enter Donald Trump. Who rightly identified our stupid, anti-US trade policy – as stupid and anti-US.
Trump renegotiated existing awful trade deals to the better.
And he started applying relatively minuscule tariffs in strategic ways upon strategic places. And we do mean miniscule.
Trump’s total tariff tally has been in the neighborhood of $500 billion. The US economy was at the time $20 trillion. So Trump’s tariffs represent a tiny fraction of the economy.
An economy which quickly ballooned to $22+ trillion as a result in large part of the tariffs. As far as returns on investment go – that’s a fairly massive one.
Combined with his tax, regulatory and immigration cuts – the results of Trump’s mini-tariffs were immediate and massive.
US-based companies’ products instantaneously became more competitive with the subsidized foreign stuff.
And companies that had long ago off-shored – started re-shoring. And new companies considering locating elsewhere – instead located here. Flooding the US’s Help Wanted Pool.
Which meant the US Labor Pool – tightened already by Trump’s immigration policies – saw demand for their talents skyrocket.
Which meant the wages for their talents skyrocketed.
Which is how we got the first-in-decades massive wage increases. Especially at the low end of the wage scale.
All to the good right? For everyone. Except the DC Globalists.
Like Star Wars’ Empire, the DC Globalists are looking to strike back. They are beginning again their efforts to get back to pre-Trump, anti-US, really-very-stupid, unilateral trade disarmament.
They’re ignoring the massive successes of Trump’s trade policies pre-stupid-government-shutdowns-for-a-flu.
And they’re attempting to pretend it will help overcome the stupid-government-shutdowns-for-a-flu.
All of which, of course, is the exact opposite of correct.
“High U.S. tariffs on consumer goods, industrial supplies and medical products threaten to stifle the economic recovery and hinder the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”
None of this is true. Which you’d know if you’d paid any attention at all to Trump’s three pre-virus years.
In fact, the virus introduced us to a lot of additional REALLY stupid results of pre-Trump Trade. To which the DC Globalists are desperately trying to return US.
“China…’accounted for 95% of U.S. imports of ibuprofen, 91% of U.S. imports of hydrocortisone, 70% of U.S. imports of acetaminophen, 40% to 45% of U.S. imports of penicillin and 40% of U.S. imports of heparin, according to Commerce Department data. In all, 80% of the US supply of antibiotics are made’ in China.”
Trump wants to return drug manufacturing from China to the US. The DC Globalists want to keep it right where it is:
“(T)he Tariff Reform Commission…would help Congress overcome the special interest pressure that keeps tariffs in place despite their negative impact on the overall economy and the national interest.”
It is HILARIOUS hearing the massive, bipartisan, multitudinous DC Globalist Trade Lobby complain about “special interest pressure.”
And this is where they miss the crucial point. The Trump Economy grew so massively and all-encompassingly BECAUSE of Trump Trade – and its tariffs:
“Since the beginning of 2018, the United States has conducted a real-world experiment in sharply raising tariffs. The Trump administration had imposed new tariffs on solar panels, washing machines, steel, aluminum and more than $370 billion in goods imported from China….
“(T)he result has been a doubling of the average effective U.S. tariff rate, from 1.4 percent in 2017 to 2.9 percent in 2020.
“Existing and recently imposed tariffs have…damaged the economy in the manner many economists have predicted….”
We told you Trump’s tariffs are tiny (1.5%). As is the total US tally (2.9%).
And how exactly was the economy “damaged” by Trump’s tiny tariffs?
In fact, this myopic look ignores all the amazing results of Trump’s tiny tariffs.
Here’s what the DC Globalist Lobby probably gets – but does not want to admit:
Trump’s economic policy panoply is a tightly knit combination of policies all working with and dependent upon one another.
It’s not a buffet. Where you can dive into the steak and roast beef – but skip the peas and Brussels sprouts.
To undo Trump Trade – is to undo Trump’s entire pre-virus, all-time-great economic recovery.
We can not allow the best economy in decades for 150 million working Americans to be undone.
So the DC Globalist Lobby can get back to getting even richer by exporting US jobs.
This first appeared in Red State.