Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: San Antonio, Texas
The macroscopic view is clearly evident: America in the immediate post-war years understood that nations damaged by the war would use tariffs as a way of shielding their recovering industries. This country was wealthy enough in the post-war years that the resulting trade imbalances, if not popular, could be understood and accommodated. Our trading partners became used to this structure, maintained it over decades, and now are "shocked-shocked" that Trump is advocating "fair-trade" relations which allow our goods to be sold in their markets at tariff rates that are similar to what we charge them for selling their goods in our market.
Trump says he doesn't want a trade war and is counting on a closed to the US marketplace to be a strong inducement to other countries' lowering their unbalanced tariffs. This, of course, upsets long-standing trade relationships which is why we're hearing all the pissin' and moanin' from the G7 members. On this Trump has really rolled the dice.
The microscopic view has some sharp edges. We are right to fear the long-term consequence of a trade-war with ratcheting tariffs and closing markets. One huge problem is how short-term solutions (higher domestic tariffs) can become institutionalized. High tariffs function to create protected industries and markets whose recipients of such tariff largess turn to "rent-seeking" as a way of protecting themselves from "foreign competition". If this happens vintage car owners in the US are going to be in a world of hurt. Many of us regularly do business with UK and other European parts vendors, enjoying great prices, almost non-existent import duty costs, and quick turn-around times. If you are importing parts for you own use (i.e., not for resale) US Customs doesn't charge any customs duty on shipments under $2000.00US. If high tariffs become permanent maintaining our cars will become a good bit more expensive, a reality that will almost certainly be reflected parts availability, sales values and ultimately marketplace availability. Tariffs are taxes and taxes can kill marketplaces.
Jim . . . '72 Super 1300, '70, 1750GTV, 2nd series,
'62, Lancia Flaminia Zagato3c, 2nd series
Last edited by 180OUT; 06-11-2018 at 08:56 AM.