“House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that Congress would not be raising taxes on companies that ship jobs over the border and sell their products in the United States.
Ryan said congressional Republicans would not rubber stamp the president-elect’s trade agenda and raise tariffs, as he’s repeatedly promised.
‘No, we’re not going to be raising tariffs,’ Ryan told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. …
Trump has been threatening ‘big’ border taxes on companies that defy his orders to keep jobs in the U.S.
The president-elect has said on numerous occasions that companies ignoring his demands will pay a steep price – a 35 percent tariff.
‘The U.S. is going to substantialy reduce taxes and regulations on businesses, but any business that leaves our country for another country, fires its employees, builds a new factory or plant in the other country, and then thinks it will sell its product back into the U.S without retribution or consequence, is WRONG!
‘There will be a tax on our soon to be strong border of 35% for these companies,’ Trump said in a series of Dec. 4 tweets. …”
Allahpundit is expecting fireworks.
Paul Ryan is excited about pushing his agenda through Congress and having Trump sign off on it: repealing Obamacare, tax cuts, the REINS Act, deregulating Wall Street, condemning the UN for being too critical of Israel and working with John McCain and Lindsey Graham to pass new sanctions on Russia. Congressional Republicans have already plunged head first into healthcare which is their top legislative priority.
Remember all the talk during the campaign about rotten free trade deals, globalists who were destroying the working class and how tariffs which would stop offshoring? Paul Ryan plans … to do nothing about any of that. Instead, the solution is to pass a bunch of things which will make the US Chamber of Commerce very happy, which will do absolutely nothing to stop the flow of jobs to low-tax, low-wage, low-regulation Third World countries. There’s nothing the Paul Ryan Congress can do to reach parity with China or other Third World countries in a global race to the bottom in the labor market.
Trump’s choice of Robert Lighthizer suggests he is serious about his trade agenda:
“WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump on Tuesday named as his chief trade negotiator a Washington lawyer who has long advocated protectionist policies, the latest sign that Mr. Trump intends to fulfill his campaign promise to get tough with China, Mexico and other trading partners. …
But some Democrats are signaling a readiness to support Mr. Trump. Nine House Democrats held a news conference Tuesday with the A.F.L.-C.I.O. president, Richard Trumka, to urge renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.
“We wanted him to know that we’ll work with him on doing that,” Mr. Trumka said. “I don’t think he has enough Republican support to do it, and rewriting the rules of trade is a necessary first step in righting the economy for working people.” …
“Those who say U.S.T.R. will be subordinated to other agencies are mistaken,” said Alan Wolff, another former senior American trade official who was the steel industry’s co-counsel on trade with Mr. Lighthizer for nearly 20 years, citing Mr. Lighthizer’s encyclopedic knowledge of trade law. “He’ll be a dominant figure on trade, in harmony with Wilbur Ross and Navarro.” …
Trade opponents on the left and the right, meanwhile, are hoping Mr. Trump means to break with several decades of pro-trade policy.
“There’s going to be a war within the Trump administration on where they go with trade, and we’re hoping to energize the worker base he had to make sure they go in the right direction to benefit the American worker,” Mr. Trumka said. …”
In 2008, Lighthizer wrote an article for The New York Times called “Grand Old Protectionists.” Some Democrats and the AFL-CIO could have Trump’s back on free trade in a looming fight with Paul Ryan. Getcha popcorn ready.
Vox.com has an article on the history of Republican support for free-trade vs. tariffs
“A couple of years ago, free trade was seen as a key principle of the Republican Party. Then Donald Trump became the Republican nominee for president, and things got more complicated. …
The Republican Party today is the party of business, just as it was 150 years ago. But what it means to be pro-business has done a complete 180 over that period. It used to mean favoring protectionism. Now it means favoring free trade.
So while it’s true that the GOP was once the party of protectionism, it’s not going to be easy for Trump to bring the party back to its roots. If he tries to do so, he’ll be opposed not only by free market ideologues in the conservative movement but also by well-funded and powerful business groups that have prospered under today’s network of free trade agreements.”
It is not a bad article.
If you want to learn more about this issue, a great resource is Alfred E. Eckes, Jr.’s Opening America’s Market: U.S. Foreign Trade Policy Since 1776. I’ve also written reviews on Occidental Dissent of Pat Buchanan’s The Great Betrayal, Lou Dobbs’ Exporting America, Clyde Prestowitz’s The Betrayal of American Prosperity, Ha-Joon Chang’s Kicking Away The Ladder and Bad Samartians.