President Trump has doubled down on his retrograde protectionist policies by announcing new metals tariffs on the European Union, Mexico, and Canada. Aside from causing unnecessary conflict with some of our allies, these tariffs are doomed to fail.
Why I am so confident about this? Because I have witnessed firsthand what has happened over the last few months in my industry since the President's first round of tariffs were announced against China.
I run one of the world's largest suppliers of nonstick coatings to the housewares industry and my company is part of a supply chain that ends in the kitchens of 40 million Americans. However, the more important fact is almost all of my American clients manufacture their goods in China. Our industry is in the crosshairs of the president's incendiary trade rhetoric. So, have the threat of tariffs worked over the last few months?
The short answer is absolutely not. Since Trump's announcement about steel and aluminum tariffs was first made in March, none of my clients who manufacture in China even considered moving their operations back to America.
In fact, many of them did the opposite: They immediately started looking at other countries like India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and various Eastern European countries to move their operations to. This is exactly what Trump did not want to happen.
So why don't my clients say uncle and open up factories in America like the president wants them to? Because many of them would lose money and go out of business due to crushing price pressure from American consumers who demand the lowest prices at Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, and Amazon.