Donald Trump Should Impose Tariffs on Day One

Over at CNN, John King reports that Donald Trump wants to take executive action to impose tariffs as quickly as possible. John’s report notes

the sources aligned with those interests told CNN the conversation within the Trump transition includes using executive authority allowed under existing trade laws. Different trade laws enacted over the course of the past century allow the president to impose tariffs if he issues a determination the United States is being subjected to unfair trade practices or faces an economic or national security threat because of trade practices.

I think he should. In fact, if Trump’s team can find a way to impose tariffs without involving Congress through the existing treaty and statutory framework, they should do it on the very first day he is in office.

To be clear, I think tariffs are a very bad idea. But a lot of people want them. A lot of people think they will be a good idea. So I want them to do it quickly so people can feel maximum pain by the time the next election rolls around and they realize what idiots they were to support them.

Tariffs will have a terrible effect on the economy and the best way for the GOP and Trump to get over them is to make them suffer maximum pain at the ballot ballot box come 2018. If Trump and his supporters want to run the U.S. economy off the cliff, tariffs are the best way to do it. And doing it unilaterally without asking Congress will at least free up the GOP to run against a President who will be deeply unpopular in 2018 after the economy collapses.

Doing this quickly will cause economic chaos and get the GOP back to orthodoxy far quicker than having Congress spend two years debating tariffs.

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Erick Erickson

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