Something Fishy

Let's see. An American company with American employees catches fish. It ships the fish to China. China imposes a tariff or retaliatory tariff when the fish arrives from America.

A Chinese company processes the fish and creates frozen fish sticks. The company in China is an American investment, and the labor in China is available at low cost. The American company cannot find that labor force in America even if it is willing to pay a much higher wage cost than it pays to employ Chinese workers.

The frozen fish sticks are shipped back to America. The US imposes a tariff or retaliatory tariff.

You go to the supermarket and buy the frozen fish sticks. The price is higher. That is all that has changed in the fish stick business since the trade war began. Note that American fish exports approximate $1 billion a year.

Folks, tariffs, and retaliatory tariffs like this amount to a sales tax imposed on the American consumer and a penalty imposed on American companies with American workers.

Peter Navarro, trade war adviser to POTUS, please explain this policy that you are scripting in the name of the national security of the United States.

Readers, ask your congressional representative and your Senator why they have delegated their congressional responsibilities to POTUS. Raising tariffs and taxes is a job that historically belongs to Congress. Letting a POTUS, any POTUS, impose tariffs unilaterally under a dubiously broad definition of "national security" seems a little fishy to me.

For details on the tariff impacts on the fish industry, see "Fish Caught in America, Processed in China Get Trapped by Trade Dispute". The whole story of tariff impacts on food production and on consumers is, of course, much broader. As China Daily recently tweeted, "US farm sector will suffer greatly due to the loss of the huge Chinese market." (See tweet and attached video report).

Trump is, of course, zapping the world with tariffs like a sorcerer's apprentice, drawing upon powers he believed to be vested in him by the sorcerer's hat of Section 232 of the Trade and Expansion Act of 1962. Section 232 "allows the president to adjust imports without a vote by Congress should the Department of Commerce find evidence of a national-security threat from foreign shipments." Defining all sorts of things as matters of "national security" broadens the president's powers far beyond the likely intentions of those who enacted the act in 1962, and it supplants the role of Congress.

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Disclaimer: The preceding was provided by Cumberland Advisors, Home Office: One Sarasota Tower, 2 N. Tamiami Trail, Suite 303, Sarasota, FL 34236; New Jersey Office: 614 Landis Ave, Vineland, NJ ...

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