Reaction to tariffs ignores the success of Trump's economic policies

Independent:
Regardless of Trump’s policies on trade, the US economy is a success story and the statistics prove it

You can have a debate about trade policy, but you can’t deny that the American boom has legs. We got a feeling for that on Friday. Start with jobs

Another week of trade turmoil. Following the imposition of US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada and the EU during the week and a disagreeable G7 finance ministers’ meeting in Whistler, Canada, on Friday, the focus shifts to China. US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross arrived on Saturday in Beijing to see what China is prepared to do to cut the surplus from $375bn (£281bn) last year to … well, who knows, but a target of $200bn has been mentioned. The threat if China does not do what the administration wants is a 25 per cent tariff on China’s high-tech US exports.

Leave aside whether the US is justified in its attempt to narrow trade imbalances such as the one with China or indeed with the EU and leave aside too whether it is going the right way about it. Focus on something else. The US economy is a huge success story. You can have a debate about trade policy, but you can’t deny that the American boom has legs. We got a feeling for that on Friday. Start with jobs.

Unemployment in the US is now down to 3.8 per cent, the lowest since 2000 and equal to the lowest since the late 1960s. More remarkable still, the gap between white unemployment and black unemployment is the narrowest certainly since then, maybe longer. It is down to 2.1 percentage points (black unemployment is 5.9 per cent). Quite why is a bit of a puzzle and there is a good Fed study on this issue. It notes among other things that too many black people of working age are in prison. I know too that participation rates have fallen, that there are regional differences and that until recently middle-income wages were barely rising. But it does seem that the rising tide is lifting all ships: for most Americans it is easier to find a job now than at any time for the past 50 years.
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There is more.

The tariffs are different from teh ones used in the 1930's.  These are part of a negotiation to get rid of barriers to US trade in other countries.  It is an attempt to get a worldwide free market system where the party with the best product at the best price makes the sale.  China and Europe have barriers to US trade that Trump wants lifted as does Canada and Mexico.

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