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The Truth, Shall Set You Free.

The Tariff Slave Trade

I believe the major issue here is that most people don't understand what a tariff is. Moreover, they have absolutely NO CLUE as to what a Trade surplus or a Trade deficit is.
A tariff, simply put, is a tax placed on an imported good. For instance, theoretically, when a country such as Germany or China sends their cars here to be sold, a reasonable and fair tax or tariff is placed on that vehicle. These taxes are not anything new and as a matter of fact, prior to 1913, the U.S. government raised most of its revenue from tariffs. That's right, this is how our railroads were built, roads, bridges and the very basic infrastructure of our country. We didn't have income tax back then! GASP!
The main reason for tariffs was to protect our economy from countries that used cheap or slave labor to send goods to our country and compete with our National goods and production. This holds true for all countries that impose a tariff. The civil war had its roots steeped in this wasn't simply about freeing the slaves. It was also an economic war. The Democrats really didn't want to give up their FREE LABORERS as they sold their cotton and produce to the North making huge profits. The North, on the other hand, was experiencing European immigrants flooding in that needed work and money. The economic scales were tipped to the South with free labor, cheap land and an abundance of profit. However, as sweet as that story sounds, the reality was that the South was being exploited with High Tariff's, while the North was actually benefitting...the South was being hit hard with tariffs and the North was making the profits. Revisionist history has just about wiped all these facts, and it was all about tariffs! Learn more about what really caused the civil war here:
Ok, back to the issue at hand. Do Tariff's make imported items more expensive to us in the US? Well, we can look at it this way. Did Walmart put many small, local business out of business? Yes, they certainly did! It's really the same concept. Same goes for HomeDepot and Lowes and other big conglomerates. When I was younger, I don't remember my parents complaining about the price of the local Agway feed store, and I never had issues with the prices at our local hardware store here in a matter of fact I miss that store. But because the US doesn't charge places like China and Japan a realistic and fair (to the US) tariff, they can send cheap products here and we quickly forget about the little local stores we all patronized. And, we not only grew accustomed to these less expensive products, we also got used to the inferiority! "Cheap Chinese crap!" We have all muttered that under our breath when something we own breaks. We are now a disposable society.
And if we are talking about one thing we export a lot of, it's cars. Cars being shipped from the U.S. into Europe face a 10 percent import duty while European cars into the U.S. faced a 2.5 percent import duty. So that means that people in Europe are more likely to buy a German vehicle because the 10% tariff we have to pay, increases the cost of that car. Oh, but have you ever wondered why you can pick up an Asian vehicle so much cheaper than a Ford, Dodge, or a GM vehicle? A car imported to the United States from China faces a Tariff of 2.5%, while a car is sent to China from the United States, the Tariff is 25%! If China had to pay 25% to export its cars to the US, then, well, obviously they won't be a dirt cheap as they are now! And maybe there wouldn't be so many stupid Subaru drivers, putting around like grannies, clogging up our roads.
So, in a nutshell, a trade deficit (losing money) occurs when people demand cheap, inferior products at discount price from places like China and Japan and don't buy locally--in their own country and when, as is occurring to the US and has since the 1970's, our products are being overtaxed in tariff's from other countries, therefore making them more of a luxury item, instead of an everyday item. It's difficult to make money when an export tax is beyond reasonable. A surplus is the exact opposite...when our exports exceed our imports; when people demand American made products because they are quality made and affordable to foreign countries, we will export more with fair and reasonable tariffs.
Now, if the playing field on tariffs becomes equal, because...equality and all, then the prices of goods imported here will either go up, if we drastically increase the tariff on other countries imported products, or stay the same if those countries lower our outrageously high tariff's the US pays to export to their country. Either way, we're not picking cotton anymore!

Daniella Cross is the caretaker of 4Earth and featured writer.
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