To the Editor:
America cannot tariff its way to greatness. People imagine things would be wonderful if Americans only bought from Americans like back in the 1950s. But the key to our rapid growth then was that the whole world bought American. Much the industrial world was still recovering from WWII.
Today, we have to compete not only with Europe and Japan, but China, India and many other countries. Putting tariffs on imports into the U.S. will not convince a guy in Peru to buy an air conditioner from the U.S. when he can get a better deal from Mexico or Indonesia. If a competitor is cheating on trade agreements they can be dealt with through the World Trade Organization in cooperation with other countries.
Technological advances have caused more job losses than trade and we aren’t going to place tariffs on robots. What we can do is insure that the vast profits created by trade and technology not be allowed to concentrate in the hands of a few executives and investors but instead be used to rebuild communities, modernize our transportation and energy infrastructure so that there are still plenty of jobs as the changes ripple through our economy. Tariffs are middle class taxes. Instead we need to reverse the GOP tax cuts on the wealthy while keeping middle class taxes low and invest in our future.