My Mercatus Center colleague Dan Griswold has an important op-ed in today’s Los Angeles Times  (which, I’m pleased to report, will also go out to other newspapers and magazines in the LA Times‘s syndicate). A slice (but do read all of Dan’s op-ed):
U.S. industry will also suffer. Already in the crosshairs of Chinese retaliation are U.S. exports of $6 billion in motor vehicles and $16 billion worth of civilian aircraft. In a double whammy to U.S. industry, our own government is threatening to impose 25% tariffs on a range of industrial goods and machinery imported from China. Those imports enable U.S. companies to remain competitive and keep assembly of final products here in the United States. Combined with a 30% jump in domestic steel prices brought on by the administration’s earlier steel tariffs, U.S. manufacturing companies are facing a cost squeeze that threatens to disrupt supply chains and employment.
DBx: Trump is already blaming Beijing for whatever damage will be inflicted on Americans by the belligerent governments waging this trade war. But the principal victims of Beijing’s tariffs are the Chinese people – just as the principal victims of Trump’s tariffs are Americans. Trump’s finger-pointing at Beijing makes him akin to a hostage taker who, having slaughtered some of his hostages because his demands were not met, self-righteously blames the carnage on those who failed to meet his demands.
The economic ignorance of the Trump administration is without parallel, at least in my lifetime. I don’t much care that the economic ignorance of an H. Clinton administration might have been as bad or worse; Clinton is not president and Trump is. And please do not think that I have forgotten either the deep economic ignorance of past presidential administrations or those precious few bright spots of Trump’s administration. I’ve not forgotten these. But the rank ignorance, pure stupidity, and frightening cruelty of Trump make him and his administration – at least to me – singularly loathsome.