Fast Dispatch for 6-March: Flying the Unfriendly Skies

We have a tangled Fast Dispatch today, starting with a callback on Delta, who just can’t get anything right this month.  And then NAFTA, the Chinese steel tariffs, the Oscars and Trump are all twisted up together.

Delta’s “Values”

Yesterday and last week Reality Dispatch covered Delta’s kerfuffle with the NRA and around half of Americans.  To recap, Delta de-partnered with the NRA, for a program that had only been used 13 times, and Georgia responded by cancelling plans to give Delta a $38 Million tax break.  Delta’s response: “Our values are not for sale.”

In the aftermath, Delta’s “values” have come to the forefront because Delta apologized to China earlier this year, for listing Taiwan and Tibet as countries.  Their apology included the words “As one of our most important markets, we are fully committed to China and to our Chinese customers.

In other words: Delta’s values are for sale… but only to China, not to Americans.  Pity they don’t value half of American customers.

NAFTA

Trump’s NAFTA statements, along with the Tariff Wars, also are in the news.

What you need to know:

  • NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Act, was a bipartisan agreement spearheaded by Reagan and Bush Sr.
  • We have large trade “imbalances” with Mexico and Canada.
    • Canada has been accused of dumping or unfairly subsidizing lumber (and airplanes)
    • Trump claims Mexico is dumping drugs, rapists and murderers into the U.S.  (Although those do not typically count as “trade.”)
  • China is the largest producer of steel.  The U.S. steel industry is being underpriced by China, which Trump considers “dumping.”
  • Trump has proposed a no-exclusions tariff (tax) on imported steel, ostensibly to protect the workers.
    • This would be using a clause from the “Trade Expansion Act of 1962” allowing us to ensure we have all materials we need for national security.  In other words, Trump is claiming that relying on China for steel (and aluminum) rather than making it here would put us at a disadvantage in a war.  This is the first time that clause would be used in that way.
    • The “no exclusions” means it would apply to all countries.  As China makes most of the steel, this mostly would prevent China from shipping steel to, say, Spain, and then let Spain ship it here.
    • This may protect steel workers, but would hurt pretty much all other workers, as the cost of steel would impact everyone else.
    • And other countries would retaliate with other tariffs in a trade war.
  • Trump is threatening to keep those tariffs on NAFTA if he can’t get a new agreement.

In a nutshell, President Trump is turning protecting a small dying industry into a large trade war mess that is likely to hurt everybody.  Even the Republicans aren’t happy about this.

Why Do You Care?

In the  view, this looks like the biggest error of Trump’s presidency.  It’s annoying our partners, winning it won’t actually buy us much – that industry is gone anyhow, plus nobody wants those jobs, and those tariffs would hurt the rest of the United States.  This could wind up costing you in higher inflation and damaged stock prices, reversing the strong economy.

Oscars

We covered some fallout from the Golden Globes previously, including pointing out their record lowest in nine years viewership along with Hillary Clinton’s skit.

Not to be outdone, the Oscars focused on victimization competition with competing agendas – illegal immigrants vs self-proclaimed harassment victims.  Mostly though, reviews say the Oscars were a muddled mess without a message.  (From the  perspective, if they would just choose movies that are enjoyable in addition to well made, the movies could have been the message.)

The Oscars also out-sunk the Golden Globes,  having the fewest viewers ever for the Oscars.

Why Do You Care?

You don’t.  Nobody does.  But now you know you can ignore it in peace.

Both

The news media is going nuts over Trump responding to  slams from Guillermo del Toro and Lee Unkrich of him, regarding his past comments about Mexico, at the Oscars.

The focus of the Oscars on Trump didn’t get nearly as much attention as Trump’s Twitter response.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Fast Dispatch for 6-March: Flying the Unfriendly Skies”

  1. Interesting comparison. We did provide more facts (check that bullet list), and more citations than American Thinker did, in something like 1/10th as many words/paragraphs. Other than actually listing some tariff amounts, that piece was mostly hyperbolic opinion.

    For example, a few phrases included: arguments crumble when viewed in the harsh light of reality, tuna rests loftily… and sentences such as ” However, unlike Sen. Sasse and others, he argues from a position of transparency, addressing the specifics of the proposal rather than relying on breast-beating and fear-mongering, as if the mere sight of a tariff poses a mortal danger to the body politic.”

    What did you find more informative about the American Thinker piece? Are there things you prefer about Reality Dispatch and other things you prefer about American Thinker?

  2. Looking at your bullet list:
    – a “bipartisan bill” only means some Democrats and some Republicans support it; not ALL Democrats nor ALL Republicans… a virtually meaningless fact. That doesn’t mean NAFTA is a perfect deal or even a good one. There are certainly loopholes of which China may be taking great advantage.
    – yes, China is the largest producer of steel. Canada produces almost none, yet nearly all of Canada’s steel imports to the US come from China (via NAFTA)
    – some of your other bullet points are presented as “facts” but without supporting evidence. For example, will tariffs always hurt other workers. Possibly. That seems to be the general concensus. It was certainly true during the depression.
    – do more “facts” even if meaningless, obvious, or irrelevant make an argument better? I think not.
    – this quote: “The point is, tariffs are both tool and negotiating point, often used to position and frame the agreements that balance international imports and exports. They can be wholly protectionist, like our 350% tariff on imported tobacco, or merely annoying, like the above mentioned assessment on live foxes.”

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