President Trump recently threatened to not only reinstate tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil and Argentina but impose more on such French goods as wine and cheese. The latter is in response to France’s president taxing “digital services,” the biggest of which, like Facebook, are American.
This weaponization of tariffs has been tried before, but generally to ill effect, says Robert Triest, professor and chair of Northeastern’s economics department. At this moment in time, Trump’s plan may be to intensify the trade war and to, as Triest says, “juice the economy by ending it,” a strategic move ahead of the 2020 election, and one that Triest says is dangerous for both the health of the economy and the welfare of the country.
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