Thursday, December 22, 2016

It Could Get Bad Right Out of the Gate: Trump Team Floats Early Executive Action Tariffs

Prepare for economic ignorance on steroids in action.

The Trump transition team is floating the possibility of an early executive action to impose tariffs on foreign imports, according to multiple sources, reports CNN.

Notes CNN:
Such a move would deliver on President-elect Donald Trump's "America First" campaign theme. But it's causing alarm among business interests and the pro-trade Republican establishment....a transition official said the team has discussed implementing a border adjustment tax measure under consideration by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, which would tax imports to spur US manufacturing...
Two sources who represent business interests in Washington tell CNN that the man in line to be White House chief of staff, Reince Preibus, has told key Washington players that one idea being debated internally is a 5% tariff on imports....
These sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the conversations with the Trump team were arranged as confidential, said the reaction was one of fierce opposition. Priebus, the sources said, was warned such a move could start trade wars, anger allies, and also hurt the new administration's effort to boost the rate of economic growth right out of the gate.
One of the sources said he viewed the idea as a trial balloon when first raised, and considered it dead on arrival given the strong reaction in the business community -- and the known opposition to such protectionist ideas among the GOP congressional leadership.
But this source voiced new alarm Tuesday after being told by allies within the Trump transition that defending new tariffs was part of the confirmation "murder board" practice of Wilbur Ross, the President-elect's choice for commerce secretary...
"The way it was cast to me was that (Donald Trump) and Ross are all over it," said one source. "It is serious."...
The business lobbying community is confident the GOP leadership would push back on any legislative effort to impose tariffs, which organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufactures and others, including groups representing farmers, believe would lead to retaliation against US industries heavily dependent on exports.
But the sources aligned with those interests told CNN the conversation within the Trump transition includes using executive authority allowed under existing trade laws. Different trade laws enacted over the course of the past century allow the president to impose tariffs if he issues a determination the United States is being subjected to unfair trade practices or faces an economic or national security threat because of trade practices.


  1. Let's see.

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    Article I, Section 8

    1. I agree. The fact that these people claim to have written authority to carry out their threats of predation certainly heightens the cause for concern.