President Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs have harmed American workers, Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Thursday at The Heritage Foundation.

Tariffs amount to government control over trade, imposing artificial restrictions on free enterprise, Johnson said. They select winners and losers in the marketplace and keep entrepreneurs from developing innovative solutions that grow the economy.

Heritage experts have laid out the negative consequences of these tariffs, which have hurt many small businesses, including manufacturers.

Johnson thanked Heritage for providing “Congress and the administration the information it needs to try and govern this nation.”

And we that you, our members, for making that work possible.

Watch Senator Johnson’s speech to find out more:

What do you think the government should do about trade?

Comments (38)

Maggie McMullan - July 30, 2018

The government should do exactly what they´re doing, especially since $ have been set aside to help those affected. Or should we just continue paying 15%+ while the other side pays 2%? There´s no comparison but it´s interesting how the least little bit of pain has us throwing up the white flag.

Dennis Gehlhausen - July 30, 2018

With tariffs Trump has finally created a real problem. Up until the tariff fiasco I was 100% for the President. He needs to back off fast and drop the tariffs.

James Phillips - July 30, 2018

Sen. Johnson should address his comments regards tariffs to the Nations that have been applying these tactics to the U.S. for decades. Yet, he and his colleagues have done nothing which is usual for Congress. I don’t like tariffs, so if you want free trade then each party must reciprocate or we will close our doors as well. Read Dr. Thomas Sowell and learn how economics work.

Peggie Taylor - July 30, 2018

I would welcome President Trump’s suggestion that all countries eliminate tariffs.

Jon M. Willey - July 30, 2018

We should continue to strive for zero tariffs from any nations we trade with and we should not place tariffs on items we import. There should be no government subsidies on products we import or export. We should seek honest free trade globally. President Trump is moving in the right direction to enable those goals.

Larry Craig - July 30, 2018

Way too much to say in one little box. See my blog poligion1.blogspot.com. in brief, tariffs are good. Need to bring jobs back to America. We didn’t even have an income tax until 1913. If I wrote a full article on trade and tariffs, would anyone there read it? Who would I send it to? Pat Buchanan just had a good article on tariffs. Read that.

Tom Brengle - July 30, 2018

The Trump Administration should continue to use the leverage provided by the strong US economy to convince our trading partners to eliminate all tariffs, subsidies and other trade barriers, resulting in a more free and fair global trade environment.

Donna Leveron - July 30, 2018

Trade should be fair and reciprocal, so that both sides win. One side should not be gaining much more than the other, if so, it must change or stop.

Mike - July 30, 2018

How come Waters and Pelosi does not understand this?

Lt.Col. Glenn Timm USAF(Ret) - July 30, 2018

The use of tariffs of any kind should be used only as negotiation tool, if that. We should lead the way and rescind all 12,000 plus tariffs, period.
Tariffs are the one subject I completely disagree with President Trump!

Glenn Inverso - July 30, 2018

I believe no President until P. Trump had the spine to address this issue. Short term pain for a long term gain. When trade is equal on both sides or eliminate tariffs then America will continue to prosper and decrease the large trade deficit.

JULIUS THIRY - July 30, 2018

President Trump is the only President with enough strength to correct the major negative effect on American trade. We can expect it not to go smoothly. Let’s get behind him, support him to achieve the desired results. He will achieve it and get the results, if it is kept up long enough. Do not be short sighted.

Ben Love - July 30, 2018

We have subsidized the rest of the world with both financial help and unfair trade deals for good reason since WWII and the Marshall Plan. But now it is time for the world to normalize and get rid of tariffs in general, as much as possible, with a goal of eliminating all tariffs and trade barriers. Help for less prosperous nations of the world should come in some form other than tariff disparities. In the meantime we should support our president and applaud his efforts to bring this to the attention of the world, even if it requires strong methods that are unpopular.

BOBBY E. RICHARDSON - July 30, 2018

I BELIEVE OUR PRESIDENT AND HIS CLOSE ADVISIORS HAVE THE BEST INTEREST OF OUR NATION IN MIND, AS THEY PROCEED WITH THEIR CURRENT AGENDER. THEY ARE MUCH BETTER PREPARED THAN MOST OF US, (WE THE AVERAGE INDIVIDUAL) DO NOT HAVE ALL THE NECESSARY INFORMATION TO MAKE THESE IMPORTANT DECISIONS. THOSE IN THE PAST HAVE NOT DO NEARLY AS WELL IN ADVANCING THIS NATION AS OUR CURRENT PRESIDENT AND HIS ADVISIORS. MAY THE LORD BLESS THIS ADMINISTRATION IN THEIR EFFORTS TO IMPROVE THE GOOD OLE U.S.A. FROM PAST FAILURES.

Bryan J Van Deun - July 30, 2018

The dreaded “government” should do absolutely NOTHING. Our President just got concessions from the Euro Marxists that may save them. Let him run, PLEASE.

Gordon Johnson - July 30, 2018

Government’s goal should be free AND fair trade. Government should NOT be choosing which industries to tax with tariffs. Let’s hope Trump’s tariffs are temporary tools that Trump will use to achieve zero tariffs eventually. (Note that FTTP countries are reducing trade barriers WITHOUT the US.)
Let’s also hope that Heritage will stop advocating a unilateral closure of the Export Import Bank, which does not pick winners and losers, produces revenue for the Treaury, and is a bargaining tool to get other nations to move to more free trade.

John Olofson - July 30, 2018

Give President Trump a little time. Before you know it, you’ll see that he’s right.

Nancy Brienzo - July 30, 2018

Individual agreements with each Countries and only FAIRTRADE. AGREE WITH POTUS, CERTAIN ITEMS HAVE TO BE MADE IN AMERICA LIKE STEEL & ALUMINUM FOR OUR OWN DEFENSIVE IF NEEDED.
BECOME ENERGY INDEPENDENT TOTALLY AND NATO NATIONS ARE TO BUY ALL ENERGY FROM OTHER ENERGY NATO NATIONS. GERMANY DOESNT HAVE BEST TRACK RECORD…IE….WWI & WWII.

Totally agree with POTUS TRUMP! MAKE IN AMERICA & BUY AMERICA.

SUBSIZE FARMERS AS NECESSARY BUT ALSO THE SMALL FAMILY OWNED GRAIN ELEVATORES! THESE 2 INDUSTERIES ARE TIDED SO CLOSELY TOGETHER.

BUT ONLY SUBSIZED NON-CORPORAT SMALL ELEVATORS (2 ELVATORS…SOY BEANS) B/C THIS YEAR TRADE RULES CHANGED. MOST SMALL INDEPENDENT GRAIN ELEBATORS HAD BOUGHT SOY BEANS IN FUTURES SERVERAL MONTHS BEFORE NEW TRADE RULES CHANGED WITH CHINA.

THESE SMALL GRAIN ELEVATORS USUALLY ARE LOCATED IN VERY SMALL POPUPULATION TOWNS OF 300.

THEY USUALLY ARE THE HUB OF ECONONIC ACTIVITY AND SUPPORT THESE SMALL TOWN’S CULTURAL ACTIVITIES. IF THEY GO BANKRUPT BY BEING UNABLE TO PAY BACK 2 OR 3 MILLION DOLLAR LOANS TO BANKS TGAR FINANCE THE FUTURES PURCHASES, & HAVE TO. CLOSE, THIS RIPPLES DOWN AND THE TOWN WILL BECOME A GHOST TOWN AND DISPLACE PEOPLE.

Roger O’Daniel - July 30, 2018

This issue is not just about trade agreements. It also is about corporation taxation policies and government subsidies to domestic business. Indirectly, it is about competition between the public and private sector for scarce goods and commodities. Free trade is a noble goal, but suffers when self interest gets in the way of supply and demand. The devil is in the details. Trump needed to shock the system to bring our frenemies to the table. They have been gaming us for decades. Our systemic balance of payments deficit must stop. Sometimes, it takes a club to get their attention.

thomas OToold - July 30, 2018

If the tariffs are bargaining chips to get protectionist countries to the bargaining table I support them be I believe in free trade.

Jack Smith - July 30, 2018

I feel what Trump is doing needs to be given a fair chance to work. It is time America be on a more level playing field with the rest of the world and not do all the giving. We need to protect peoples lives but in business it should more even.

Roland Tindle - July 30, 2018

Tariffs: every country involved started it first.!! Public should be made aware.! Tariffs on our end will eventually level the field. Congress HAS to fund a massive boarder wall or shut both houses down WITHOUT PAY. Congress is not placing America ahead of their own personal gains. Please allow the President to shut Congress down without pay.!!! I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking that would be totally appropriate.!!

Gugisman - July 30, 2018

The steel industry is building how many new plants…? The “Made in (insert foreign nation that makes stuff much cheaper, even after shipping it to us)” label has to go.

Donald Waggener - July 30, 2018

Coming from a manufacturing background when NAFTA began and China was accepted into the WTO I don’t remember hearing as much outrage then as our country lost manufacturing jobs, closed manufacturing plants for the greater good? We need a level playing field on trade so that we have a chance to compete fairly. Fair, free and reciprocal trade!

Mary Westcott - July 30, 2018

I believe that Heritage is correct in showing the benefits of free trade. Hopefully the President can negotiate reduced tariffs so that trade will be fair and ultimately free, so that the free market can maximize the benefits to all.

Michael Ragland - July 31, 2018

Trump is a free trader and he will accomplish that end if we give him a chance to negotiate unencumbered by interference from outside influences, including Heritage. He has already made inroads in the EU and with UK, plus will get our natural gas exports up and running as soon as we can get the infrastructure built (no longer ten year permit delays).

China will cave, especially once the US, UK, and the EU have fair trade deals in hand. China’s president cannot allow the economy of China to falter, so he must accept the trade deals that Trump wants, which will benefit China in the end.

Lynna Murphy - July 31, 2018

Why won’t the Koch Brothers support ???
Trump???
They are giving millions to Dems after not supporting Trump & Pence!
Why do you not call them out? Does Heritage support the Koch Bros?
They support SCOTUS – thanks to Trump-
But work against him in every other way!
Of course they support anyone named Bush/
Win or lose ( so disappointed in W)
They supported MCCaine, Romney-could not win!
It seems they are Elitest just like the Dems.
In other words, HRC- better than Trump!
Now I want to know if Heritage is on board with
The Rhinos and not with the American Middle Class. Time to be Honest- middle class or
Are you elites who Are here to guide the Middle Class…you are shepherding us in “The Right
Direction”…
If you are there to think for me and the Great
American Middle Class who works 30-40 years before they retire …if the can afford to retire.
Heritage Foundation, Who Are You?

Lamar Kimble - July 31, 2018

Tariffs will work until Trumps’ plan of NO Tariffs, that the goal.

Dan OBryan - July 31, 2018

Let President Trump continue since he knows good and well that America has been used as a doormat in trade deals for years. The rest of the world has been led to believe that we are a charity existing for their benefit. They have used trade deals as a way to take advantage of our successes and to benefit their nations. What’s wrong with fair and free trade?

Dr. Fred Anderson - July 31, 2018

Let Trump play his trade cards – let it play out. Too much speculation and opinion is mostly harmful. It should tell us something factual about what he is doing when no country took him up on – “how about we all terminate all tariffs”?

Connie Berni - July 31, 2018

Stick to their guns. We will prosper, trade will stabilize and it will bear some resemblance to fairness once again!

Cynthia Chabra - July 31, 2018

Trump’s aim is to have no tariffs. Placing tariffs is a bargaining tactic. It may be painful for some for a short while but in the long (or not so long) run, oher countries will cave and reduce their tariffs and other trade inequities as well. This is best for our All of our country. Look at what the EU president has already indicated his new stance on trade is. Stand strong and support Trump’s strategy.

Will Smith - July 31, 2018

The only way to get other countries’ attention to their unfair tariffs is to make a dramatic proposal for ours to match theirs. Obviously, Trump understands this, so he’s got their attention. The primary villain on trade is China, but they use other countries to dump products on us, resulting in our moving out of future markets, and losing our manufacturing skills.

Tom Bergum - August 1, 2018

I’m against tariffs but if Mr Trump is using them to improve our negotiating position as it appears with the EU and others, I’m on board. Let’s open free trade and close the borders!!

Dan Mills - August 1, 2018

The President knows what he is doing! Why is it so hard to figure out? My fellow Heritage members have spoken eloquently on this subject here. Let’s try explaining this clearly to the voters. We have cut our prices to compete {right?) with all these “righteous and highly efficient” international competitors, and learned we have no profit to reinvest, so we close the mills shrink our farms.. Nice! Finally, somebody gets it. Nothing left of my refractories plant but an open field,a pile of ruble and a 125 steelworkers that hit the street. Help the administration fight this battle! We are all for free trade, but it fair before it is free. Do we have a better plan? If not this, then what?

Rev. Charles Springer - August 1, 2018

I ask this ” Was it after WWII, the tariffs helped build these countries”. These countries should be on their own, there leaders run there their country ,but not from America’s expense. Now is the time to rebuild America, so we can help in the future. We need 0%tariffs on both sides. Let this President do his JOB he’s all Business not like the Politicians we had in the past. Just take a real look of the things they said he could not do, Oh! he didn’t listen to them, he’s getting things done, like never before. God Bless President Trump/Family/United States of America.

nancy jones - August 2, 2018

I totally agree with Maggie;;;;;;;;;;;pain is part of the process! James also makes a good point;;;;;;;;;;personally, I voted for Trump to make decisions, especially those that concern subjects that I know little about;;;;;;;;;;;;so far, so good! I shall keep studying these ideas, but on tariffs, I trust our leader, something we could not do before!

Allen Wood - August 5, 2018

PRESIDENT TRUMP KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING. HE IS CORRECTING THE BAD POLICY THAT CONGRESS AND THE PAST SEVERAL PRESIDENTS HAVE SADDLED US WITH. YES, IT MIGHT INITIALLY INVOLVE SOME PAIN, BUT I AM CONFIDENT THAT THE END RESULT WILL BE WORTH IT.

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