I like tariffs. High tariffs worked well to fund the federal government and allow the USA to build its industrial infrastructure up to 1914.
Since 1988, when our great infatuation in free trade with mercantilist nations began, we’ve seen our manufacturing base gutted, the standard of living for the average American decline, Wall Street shift from financing real productive assets (factories, planes, railroads, ships) to speculating wildly with financial pieces of paper no one understands. Not to mention the drug addiction and chronic unemployment that decimates communities when factories close and the middle class jobs go away. The loss of middle class employment results in increasing demands for government social spending which then drives higher taxes and less economic investment.
The USA has the population scale and abundant resources to be largely self sufficient again as we were in the first three quarters of the 20th century. Raise tariffs and bring back US manufacturing and jobs.. Our current trade policies are an abysmal failure. In 20 years we’ve financed the industrialization of China, a major economic enemy, while destroying the vibrancy of our own economy. Slap a 30% tariff on imports and you’ll see the Chinese economy tank, along with their aggressive military buildup. Combine the new tariffs with the proper regulatory environment and lower corporate plus individual tax rates and we’ll see a renaissance of investment in US economic investment and an upsurge of employment.
No, raise tariffs and wipe out millions of existing US jobs in import-dependent small and medium-sized companies, while doing nothing to eliminate the union thuggery and excessive regulation that drove our manufacturing base offshore in the first place.
There is no quick fix to the offshoring of heavy manufacturing and no fix at all to the offshoring of low-priced product manufacturing. That ship has sailed forever.