Donald Trump the new President-elect has promised to return jobs to the Rust Belt of the U.S. by getting tough on China and Mexico.
To accomplish that, he has threatened to use tariffs. The argument Trump gives is that if he makes it too expensive to do business in Mexico and China, he will convince companies to return jobs to the U.S. in states such as Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
However, the tariffs will not bring any jobs back to key states that were important in Trump’s win, experts say.
The jobs are lost and will not return, said one industry expert. Tariffs he added will not change the equation only make it worse.
Peter Navarro an economic adviser to Trump emphasized that tariffs would be more of a threat than a first option during trade negotiations.
He said that the tariffs could be used as a tool in negotiating with China and Mexico to have better trade. If they are uncooperative, Trump said tariffs would be applied.
When nations slap tariffs for trade on one another, a trade war is started. China as well as Mexico will not wait any time at all before retaliating with sanctions and tariffs of their own.
Trump can hit China and Mexico unilaterally with tariffs. He does not need any input from Congress.
Congress through the Constitution has the authority to uses different tariffs against other countries. However, a number of statutes Congress enacted over the past 100 years have given standing presidents the power of using tariffs at their discretion.
For instance, if Trump were to declare a national emergency related to lost jobs, he could raise tariffs to the level he wants, but experts say raising them would not bring any jobs back to the U.S.
What is more important, the tariffs will only make things that much more expensive. A great deal of different products from clothing to cars to electronics, are made for the most part abroad and companies do not pay tax to import them from Mexico and China to the U.S.
A new tariff added by the Trump government would mean the price of many goods would become higher.
What the tariffs would do, said on analyst, is cause importers to move to another country to bring in products such as Malaysia, Hong Kong or Vietnam.
However, supporters of Trump believe that tariffs would help bring jobs back to the U.S.