Ryan Rejected: Trump Says "Not Backing Down" From Tariffs

Moments ago, when reporting that Paul Ryan - and other senior members of Congress - had joined the Tariff Resistance, demanding that Trump kill the proposed steel and alu import tariffs, we quoted Bloomberg's Michael Regan who remarked that "this is either a strong signal that Trump may end up being talked out of tariffs, or a strong signal that Paul Ryan's about to get saddled with a new insult-comic nickname from Trump."

As a reminder, Paul Ryan joined the chorus against the Trump tariffs on Monday, and in a statement Ryan said the following:

"We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan. The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don’t want to jeopardize those gains"

According to Bloomberg's Michael Regan "this is either a strong signal that Trump may end up being talked out of tariffs, or a strong signal that Paul Ryan's about to get saddled with a new insult-comic nickname from Trump."

At the same time, other Republican Congressional leaders said they haven’t ruled out "a potential action down the line" if President Trump follows through with imposing sanctions on imported steel and aluminum, a GOP official said.

Well, it appears that Ryan is indeed about to have a new nickname, because according to flashing red headlines, Trump just said that he won't be changing his mind.


Trump then doubled down, adding that "I don't think you're going to have a trade war" in response to the planned tariffs, which is somewhat at odds with everything else he said. Regarding Nafta and the tariffs, he told reporters, “If they aren’t going to make a fair trade deal, we’ll leave it this way.” He also threatens to tax car imports coming in 'like water', repeating his weekend tweet.

So far, the stock market refuses to react clearly convinced that Trump is, once again, bluffing, while Trump's comment on China has triggered a small pop in the yuan.


Luc X. Ifer T-NUTZ Mon, 03/05/2018 - 13:52 Permalink

I think The Don decided to burn the house down. He realized that to get rid off the rat pest the house must be burned over them. Triggering in time an economic collapse will allow to push safely laws to eliminate all the subsidies and programs the left fascists use to feed their base, practically the starve the beast strategy.

In reply to by T-NUTZ

TeethVillage88s resaci Mon, 03/05/2018 - 16:58 Permalink
  • dUH, I'm Paul Ryan... I have no solutions, but am leader of the free world!
  • - Ryan might as well be a doper
  • - False Choice: Tariffs or no Trump Tariffs
  • What should we Teach?
  • Should we require all K-12 Teachers to know International Fiat & International Economics?
  • just musing here...
  • Total--Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Outlays 2016 = $1.417 Trillion
  • Total--Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Outlays 1998 = $379.95 Billion
  •     $T Debt Added
  • J. Carter, ,$0.37 T (4 yrs)
  • R. Reagan, $1.69 T
  • G. H Bush, $1.4 T (4 yrs)
  • W. Clinton, $1.627 T
  • G. W. Bush, $4.357 T
  • B. Obama, $6.365 T (4 yrs)
  • B. Obama, $10 T (8 yrs est.)
  • Here is the Salary Increases for Federal Employees:
  • Total--OPM Outlays 2014 = $138.63 Billion (What?)
  • Total--OPM Outlays 1997 = $64 Billion
  • https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GINIALLRH
  • Negative - 780 Billion Trade Balance
  • http://www.economist.com/node/21604509



In reply to by resaci

East Indian carni Mon, 03/05/2018 - 20:44 Permalink

If he is not harassed with fake investigations and threats of impeachment, he would have taken on the MIC. He cannot fight both wings of the Deep State at the same time (that was what the Deep State expected him to do). Instead he is fighting the internal wing first and had given a free hand to the MIC; if they end up bloodying the American nose, that will be an opportunity to bring them under control. 

In reply to by carni

Dabooda T-NUTZ Mon, 03/05/2018 - 13:52 Permalink

Trump is in economic illiterate -- and he seems to have a lot of company here on ZH.  Whence this great love of tariffs?  A tariff is a TAX.  And ultimately it is always the consumer who pays the tax. Adam Smith fucking NAILED IT over two centuries ago: " “In every country it always is and must be the interest of the great body of the people to buy whatever they want of those who sell it cheapest.” 

For those of you who would like to be a little bit better informed, read Henry Hazlitt's wonderful Economics In One Lesson, in particular Chapter Eleven: Who's "protected" by tariffs?  Read it free, here:  http://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/chap11p1.html

In reply to by T-NUTZ

Dabooda deoldefarte Mon, 03/05/2018 - 14:35 Permalink

Logic-free thinking, you mean?  A "trade deficit" means we are getting loads of valuable goods in exchange for  Federal Reserve buttwipe -- and the folks on the other end of the trade are happy to keep the buttwipe.  That's why our standard of living is so high in the US -- the rest of the world works, and we collect their real wealth & production, and in exchange we give them magic paper.

In reply to by deoldefarte

DonFromWyoming Dabooda Mon, 03/05/2018 - 15:03 Permalink

Unfortunately, Federal Reserve "buttwipe" currently purchases complete US companies, US real estate, US equities and raw materials around the world, all of which the Chinese have been purchasing for more than two decades.  Yes, at some point in time, the USD will be "buttwipe", but for now we are building the scaffold for our own execution.

In reply to by Dabooda

Endgame Napoleon deoldefarte Mon, 03/05/2018 - 14:49 Permalink

Knowing it and doing something about it are two different things. There are also two complicating factors:

  1. Will we have high tariffs on Chinese and Mexican-made “American” cars? 
  2. How soon will lights-out manufacturing make these imports Robot-made cars? 

Those two things complicate the reason for tariffs: a return of manufacturing jobs for US citizens.

The other thing that would help reduce underemployment of US citizens, likewise bumping up the numbers of working-aged citizens in the workforce, would be an end to mass-scale, illegal, welfare-assisted, wage-slicing illegal immigration and a bigly reduction in legal immigration. 

Most new immigrants that I see are either pregnant, or they have children under the age of 1, meaning they came here and immediately reproduced, with their US-born children qualifying many of them for free rent, free groceries, subsidized electricity and up-to $6,444 in refundable, yearly child-tax-credit welfare, which was recently doubled by the Republican Congress.

In addition to qualifying their non-citizen parents for thousands of dollars in unearned income from the US government, the children of noncitizens are immediate citizens when born here. 

This enables many single-earner households with a male breadwinner (most immigrant households) to work for very low wages, undercutting underemployed citizens in the non-manufacturing-oriented economy that we have at this point in history. Legal immigrants and illegal aliens also take many of the manufacturing jobs left here in the USA.

If we bring good-paying manufacturing jobs back to the USA, many immigrants will not qualify for pay-per-birth welfare. They will not meet the income limits, like they do when they are womb productive and working the service-sector jobs, staying below the income limits for the programs in traceable income due to the crappy quality of most service-sector jobs.

Immigrants will take a large percentage of any new manufacturing jobs — especially with about 1 million new legal immigrants entering the USA each year, not counting millions of illegal ones — reducing the benefit of tariffs to underemployed US citizens.

In reply to by deoldefarte

DemandSider Dabooda Mon, 03/05/2018 - 14:14 Permalink

Let's read that entire "invisible hand" quote from Smith:



"By PREFERRING THE SUPPORT OF DOMESTIC TO THAT OF FOREIGN INDUSTRY, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention."

In reply to by Dabooda

E Ghost DemandSider Mon, 03/05/2018 - 15:28 Permalink

You couldn't even make it to the end of the paragraph? You're either illiterate or purposely being manipulative.

"But the annual revenue of every society is always precisely equal to the exchangeable value of the whole annual produce of its industry, or rather is precisely the same thing with that exchangeable value. As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it."

and two paragraphs later:

"To give the monopoly of the home-market to the produce of domestic industry, in any particular art or manufacture, is in some measure to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, and must, in almost all cases, be either a useless or a hurtful regulation. If the produce of domestic can be brought there as cheap as that of foreign industry, the regulation is evidently useless. If it cannot, it must generally be hurtful. It is the maxim of every prudent master of a family never to attempt to make at home what it will cost him more to make than to buy. The taylor does not attempt to make his own shoes, but buys them of the shoemaker. The shoemaker does not attempt to make his own clothes, but employs a taylor. The farmer attempts to make neither the one nor the other, but employs those different artificers. All of them find it for their interest to employ their whole industry in a way in which they have some advantage over their neighbours, and to purchase with a part of its produce, or what is the same thing, with the price of a part of it, whatever else they have occasion for."

Fuck you for trying to twist Adam Smith's words. Fuck you!

In reply to by DemandSider

DemandSider E Ghost Mon, 03/05/2018 - 15:54 Permalink

That was a direct quote. I twisted nothing. Please present one country which has EVER practiced your mythological "free trade"


Is this one?




P.S. More Adam Smith:


The second case, in which it will generally be advantageous to lay some burden upon foreign for the encouragement of domestic industry, is when some tax is imposed at home upon the produce of the latter. Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (BOOK IV, CHAPTER I, p. 494)

Premiums given by the public to artists and manufacturers, who excel in their particular occupations, are not liable to the same objections as bounties. By encouraging extraordinary dexterity and ingenuity, they serve to keep up the emulation of the workmen actually employed in those respective occupations [...] Their tendency is not to overturn the natural balance of employments, but to render the work which is done in each as perfect and complete as possible. Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (BOOK IV, CHAPTER V, p. 560)


The case in which it may sometimes be a matter of deliberation how far it is proper to continue the free importation of certain foreign goods, is when some foreign nation restrains, by high duties or prohibitions, the importation of some of our manufactures into their country. Revenge, in this case, naturally dictates retaliation, and that we should impose the like duties and prohibitions upon the importation of some or all of their manufactures into ours. Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (BOOK IV, CHAPTER I, p. 497)

etc, etc, etc...






In reply to by E Ghost

Dabooda Potato Farmer Mon, 03/05/2018 - 14:58 Permalink

Please do explain how producing goods and services better, cheaper or faster somehow "cheapens" anybody else's life?  I'd say it enriches the life of whoever gets a product that he values more than its competitors.  And if you arbitrarily limit competition by legally forbidding people from producing superior or cheaper or more promptly delivered goods -- how are you not fucking up THEIR lives unjustly?

In reply to by Potato Farmer

Potato Farmer Dabooda Mon, 03/05/2018 - 15:10 Permalink

If you produce it cheaper by reducing energy waste in the process, there is no harm in that.  If you produce it cheaper by undervaluing the labor that produced it, you undermine the whole economy, by lessening the purchasing power of those needed to consume the production.  If you cheapen it by eating your capital base, i.e. trashing the environment and soil base, you slowly condemn yourself to poverty by undermining your ability to produce and consume in the future.

Furthermore, proper tariffs don't eliminate trade.  Bringing prices of foreign goods up to our price level, is not an embargo.  The notion that we must have free trade or no trade is a type of Mark Levinesque "either or" logical fallacy.

In reply to by Dabooda

LMAOLORI Dabooda Mon, 03/05/2018 - 14:27 Permalink


If you want to see an economic illiterate look in the mirror.

The globalists and their puppet politicians have all but turned us into a service economy. If we continue at this rate there will only be two classes, the rich and the poor. 

Since its peak at $57,843 in 1999, real median household income in the United States has fallen 7.2%.  We cannot continue to have free trade with nations that are not held to the same standards as the United States, to do so is suicide.

The very idea of a service economy being sustainable for much longer is idiotic, it’s a snake eating its own tail. Say’s Law was articulated in one of the earliest commentaries on Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations“. Wealth is created at the point of production, when you make a product worth more than the parts and labor that went into it. Sales are just a wealth transfer, of that new wealth for existing wealth.

Wealth is not permanent, and suffers from shrinkage through obsolescence, wear and tear, accidental destruction, and other factors. An economy geared entirely around service jobs creates very little wealth, but wealth still leaves the system. Our shrinking middle class cannot continue to afford a bloated bureaucracy and a burgeoning welfare state, created in part by trade agreements culminating in the loss of decent jobs.  If you’re endlessly redistributing an insufficient and ever-shrinking pool, the system eventually collapses.

Our society is also losing wealth at an alarming rate through the trade deficit. If we don’t go back to a balanced or manufacturing-driven economy and close the trade gap, we’re on our way to being a third world country, and it’s only a matter of time. Wealth only comes from productive industries such as manufacturing and agriculture.

Thank GOD for President Trump we finally have a man in the oval office who is representing the people instead of the globalists.



In reply to by Dabooda

FIAT CON Dabooda Mon, 03/05/2018 - 14:40 Permalink

Sure in a free market society it might be fine, but when .gov's subsidies a certain product or commodity it is no longer a free trade.

How do you know what is being subsidized by a foreign country? It's kind of like devaluing a countries $ to make the product cheaper and therefore getting more sales WW. This just taxes the citizenry to work for less to compete with the other countries.

In reply to by Dabooda

Koba the Dread Dabooda Mon, 03/05/2018 - 19:12 Permalink

Yes, a tariff is a tax. It is a tax burden on foreign manufacturers. And, yes, the tax is passed on to consumers. Consumers? When did Americans stop being producers and become consumers instead? They became consumers and not producers when almost 200 years of high US tariffs were abandoned.

In 1968 I visited friends in Detroit who worked on automobile assembly lines making $12.00 an hour with plenty of overtime at $18.00 an hour. Detroit was hopping then. I'm sure the same thing applied in the Pittsburg steel industry and thousands of other manufacturies in America.

Then high tariffs were abandoned in favor of importing cheap goods from abroad. Presto: Americans became consumers rather than producers. Walmart became the face of America rather than automobiles or steel.

Low tariffs are great if you need bread and circuses to get re-elected. Great in the short term but not in the long term.

America was self-sufficient for 200 years. It can be so again. MAGA requires high tariffs.

In reply to by Dabooda