My take on Donald Trump’s terrible 20% tariff on Canadian lumber

As a libertarian, most of what United States President Donald Trump is doing can’t be championed, whether it is foreign or trade policy. The only enjoyment that a libertarian can get is his treatment of the mainstream media, which is both comical and a form of karma (remember how they treated Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012).

Right now, the Trump administration wants to slap a 20% tariff on Canadian lumber.

The media claim that this is bad for Canadians because we’ll be the ones paying for it. However, if you understand the regressive nature of tariffs and protectionism, it is usually the importing nation that suffers the most from this initiative.

I recently wrote about this on Liberty Nation entitled “Was Trump’s Canadian Tariff Actually A Bad Idea?” I go into the basic economics behind this move.

Here is an excerpt:

If Canadian companies could sell the Americans a cheaper product then what’s the big deal?

One of the fallacies behind this move – and, in a broader sense, protectionism – is that exporters are impacted the most by tariffs. This is incorrect. The president’s 20% lumber tax will not be paid for by the Canadian lumber industry, but rather by American lumber-buying companies and homebuyers.

A high-cost domestic industry would welcome a tariff because it protects it from low-cost foreign competition. This is a trade policy that makes a country poorer by raising prices, destroying jobs and increasing taxes for Americans, all in the name of protecting domestic producers.

The administration may believe that it is creating, protecting or saving jobs in the lumber industry. However, the president’s import tax will have a greater effect in other US industries, particularly in construction, where there are thirty-two construction workers employed in homebuilding for every one worker in logging, lumber and wood production combined, according to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The tariff would increase housing prices, slow homebuilding and lay off thousands of construction workers.

Simply put: Trump placed a 20% tariff on the American people.

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