Trump’s Tariff Threat

Tony Milne

Donald Trump’s tweet that he might leave the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is probably just a negotiating ploy, but his gut reaction is correct.

The WTO is merely a name change that more accurately reflects the organisation of international trade that was set up after the Second World War by the United States and Great Britain.  They called this the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).  GATT was set up to help reduce tariffs, or import duties, in a series of equal negotiations.

GATT was specifically designed to favour the great exporting and trading nations, and the merchants therein.  Reducing tariffs meant that imports of raw materials would be cheaper, which they could then process and export as finished goods.  They could also sell these at to GATT countries and make more profit.

Those who suffered most would be the nations that imported the most.  Consumers in those nations…

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Trump’s Tariff Threat

Donald Trump’s tweet that he might leave the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is probably just a negotiating ploy, but his gut reaction is correct.

The WTO is merely a name change that more accurately reflects the organisation of international trade that was set up after the Second World War by the United States and Great Britain.  They called this the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).  GATT was set up to help reduce tariffs, or import duties, in a series of equal negotiations.

GATT was specifically designed to favour the great exporting and trading nations, and the merchants therein.  Reducing tariffs meant that imports of raw materials would be cheaper, which they could then process and export as finished goods.  They could also sell these at to GATT countries and make more profit.

Those who suffered most would be the nations that imported the most.  Consumers in those nations might have found that the price of imported finished goods dropped but, as tax-payers, they would have to pay a higher price in sales or excise tax, or income taxes, to make up the lost government revenue.

At the time of GATT’s first round of negotiations, the only countries capable of mass production and shipping were the United States and Great Britain, so it was natural that they should enshrine their preferences in the agreement.  Britain had promoted the Freedom of the Seas since medieval times.  While England and then Britain were net exporters, and maintained a large fleet of merchant and warships, the strategy paid off.  The US was not a great exporter, relative to its production, but it was a great trading nation, importing raw materials.  It became a major exporter supplying European countries at war with each other.  In the period during and after the Second World War, it became the largest exporter in the world.  GATT was ideal to help it maximise its profit at this time.

Since 1975, the US has been a net importer.  It runs the world’s largest trade deficit.  It does not benefit at all from the low tariffs it imposed equitably when it had the power to do so.  Now, it merely invites low cost manufacturers to import their wares and receives little in return.

Protectionism, such as increased import tariffs, is not the solution to America’s economic problems; but it is a solution to their political problems.  Raising tariffs can only lead to a spiral of worsening trade figures, lower exports, and higher prices for imports.

To solve the country’s problems without creating worse ones would need more support than Trump is likely to win, even if he knew what to do.  In order to stay in power, leaving the WTO and raising tariffs may be the only thing he can do.

Donald Trump

No-deal Brexit or No-Brexit deal

As England hurtles towards a no-deal Brexit or a no-Brexit deal, it is worth remembering some of the other times that our leaders and the people made similar decisions, and what happened.  Unfortunately, most history is propaganda, and schoolchildren are brought up to think of our ancestors as great heroes, and our past becomes a myth, the Myth of England.  This book sets out the real history of England’s rampant past.  Available from Amazon 

myth-of-england-front-cover-only

No-deal Brexit or no-Brexit deal

As England hurtles towards the Hobson’s choice of no-deal Brexit or a no-Brexit deal, it is worth remembering some of the other times that our leaders and the people made similar decisions, and what happened.  Unfortunately, most history is propaganda, and schoolchildren are brought up to think of our ancestors as great heroes, and our past becomes a myth, the Myth of England.  This book sets out the real history of England’s rampant past.  Available from Amazon on https://amzn.to/2MXbOAxmyth-of-england-front-cover-only

No-deal Brexit or No-Brexit deal ?

As England hurtles towards the Hobson’s choice of no-deal Brexit or a no-Brexit deal, it is worth remembering some of the other times that our leaders and the people made similar decisions, and what happened.  Unfortunately, most history is propaganda, and schoolchildren are brought up to think of our ancestors as great heroes, and our past becomes a myth, the Myth of England.  This book sets out the real history of England’s rampant past.  Available from Amazon on https://amzn.to/2MXbOAx

myth-of-england-front-cover-only

The Great British Bible

Just starting my next book – let’s see if I can get it into the bookshops for Christmas.  All I have to do is finish off The Tax Man first.  If you can’t wait till Xmas, there’s still time for you to read Myth of England, which sets the scene for this work.  As Painter said, in his review, “A must read history book”.  The_Great_British_Bible final front only.jpg

Myth of Brexit

During the Tory Party Conference in October last year, spoilt public schoolboy Jacob Rees-Mogg compared Brexit to the battle of Crécy, the battle of Agincourt, to the Magna Carta, “such a positive thing for our country” he said, but he was wrong; it may be a positive thing for a tiny minority, but all these battles he mentioned and even the Magna Carta were a disaster for England, especially for the young people who paid for them with their lives, their money or their freedom.

Myth of England was my best-selling book last year, but surprisingly it sold better in the USA than in the UK.  Perhaps the British don’t want their history spoiled.

So, I want to thank all my readers for buying my books, for reading them, and for giving me feedback, either on Amazon or directly.  Book sales increased more than 40% this year, so I am well on my way to sell a million books.myth-of-england-front-cover-only

Man with Book

Well, after correcting the pricing on my book, Man with Gun, which ended up being very expensive when I first set it up, and then reducing the pricing some more, and then sending a copy of the book to my guru sensei, John Slayton, master kendoka and all round good guy, I finally sold a first copy.  As anyone who has ever written a book, performed on stage or film or TV, or sung a song, knows, getting feedback is the only thing we respond to.  Positive feedback is easier to handle, but any feedback is AOK.  Especially if it is public: Amazon customer reviews are the ultimate support you can provide a writer, especially a new, and self-published writer.

So, many thanks to all my readers so far, and my new readers in particular.  I’m still on course to sell a million books before I die.Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00015]