Those opposed to high tariffs as a means to increase domestic production see it as a “rob Peter to pay Paul” scenario.
For instance, the U.S.’s imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum may well increase domestic sales and production in those industries. More jobs? Probably.
However, as a result of those tariffs, India has slapped retaliatory tariffs on U.S. apples and almonds. As the United States’ No. 1 trade partner for almonds and No. 2 importer of apples, these tariffs will have a significant effect on those industries in the U.S. Fewer jobs? Probably.
The European Union has imposed new tariffs on 180 different products in response to the President’s actions.
Many economists view tariffs as destructive. As the Economist writes, “Tariffs impose costs on the country setting them. They invite foreigners to respond with retaliatory ones of their own, hurting exporters. (When new tariffs break past promises, they also erode trust.) Moreover, tariffs distort the economy, reducing productivity.”