Side Area

Trump's Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

There are a couple of important economic lessons that the American people should learn. I’m going to title one “the seen and unseen” and the other “narrow well-defined large benefits versus widely dispersed small costs.” These lessons are applicable to a wide range of government behavior, but let’s look at just two examples.

Last week, President Donald Trump enacted high tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. Why in the world would the U.S. steel and aluminum industries press the president to levy heavy tariffs? The answer is simple. Reducing the amounts of steel and aluminum that hit our shores enables American producers to charge higher prices. Thus, U.S. steel and aluminum producers will earn higher profits, hire more workers and pay them higher wages. They are the visible beneficiaries of Trump’s tariffs.

But when the government creates a benefit for one American, it is a virtual guarantee that it will come at the expense of another American — an unseen victim.

Continue Reading at

Walter Williams
Walter E. Williams is an American economist, commentator, and academic. He is the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University, as well as a syndicated columnist and author known for his libertarian conservative views. His writings frequently appear on, WND, Jewish World Review, and hundreds of newspapers throughout the United States.
No comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.