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The Best Answer to Trump’s Tariffs: Free Trade

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In the Bible it says, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone . . .” It also has been said that the one who strikes the second blow starts any fight. If the world is to avoid trade wars due to tariffs being imposed by the Trump Administration, both the United States and its trading partners in Europe and North America should look within themselves and ask if they are blameless in their own trade practices, and if it would not be far better if everyone were to simply follow a policy of free trade.

Donald Trump recently reasserted his intention to impose new tariffs of as much as 25 percent on steel and aluminum imports from Europe and America’s Canadian and Mexican neighbors under the rationale of “national security.” In general, the response by European, Canadian and Mexican government officials and by many in the news media has been that the affected countries must respond in kind, with retaliatory tariffs and related trade restrictions on American goods. Trump added gasoline to the political fire by replying that European automobile imports might be the next threat to U. S. national security.

Then just before leaving for the G-7 meeting of leading industrial nations in Canada over the weekend of June 9-10, 2018, Trump proposed that America and the European Union reduce their existing tariff and other trade barriers to zero. But he later warned that if America’s European trading partners did not do this, then under his executive authority, Europe might be excluded from business in general within the United States. The gist of the European response after Trump had left Canada for his meeting in Singapore with the totalitarian tyrant of North Korea was outraged indignation; how dare Trump speak to them in that way. Trade retaliation would follow. After all, the national dignity of Europe’s governments is at stake!

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