Over the past 30 years, much of what we learned are what opinions to trust, which views to listen to, and more importantly, who to tune out.
Scott Grannis, former chief economist for a large financial company and currently retired with no intention of returning to work (NO BIASES!) is one of our favorite reads. Here is a very small portion, but a favorite on the Tariff wars from Scott and his Blog “Calafia Beach Pundit” – he lives in CA currently.
“In the past 12 months, the US has imported about $525 billion of Chinese goods, while at the same time exporting to China only $135 billion. China is selling almost four times more “stuff” to us than we are selling to them. So, the thinking goes, if both countries jack up tariff rates to prohibitive levels, the Chinese have much more to lose than we do, particularly since our economy is still half again as big as China’s. At some point the Chinese will wave the white flag, we’ll all agree to reduce or eliminate tariffs and intellectual property right theft, and sweetness and light will return to international trade relations.
We can’t rule out a successful end to today’s tariff wars, but neither can we be confident that they will inexorably lead to a repeat of the Smoot-Hawley tariff wars which in turn led to the Great Recession. I continue to believe that tariffs are so universally understood to be bad and even stupid that eventually our leaders will do the right thing and make trade freer and fairer. Why bet against what would be a win-win for all parties? (Zero tariffs are an economist’s dream, since by facilitating free trade they would be a boon to all countries.)”
Trade Wars History – This is not our First Time
Follow his comments up with an excellent updated chart on the subject matter from our friends at Visual Capitalist, and we will let you formulate your own opinion – an opinion that is likely more updated than before reading this post!
Have a “Tariff Trade War Update” Day!
John A. Kvale CFA, CFP