Tariff Pain in NC

Tariff Pain in NC

It’s not just the macroeconomic outlook that shows President Trump’s tariff are no good.  Right here in North Carolina, tobacco and pork products are about to get nailed by retaliatory tariffs…

The state’s pork producers export 25 percent of their product, said Andy Curliss, CEO of the North Carolina Pork Council. Mexico and Canada account for half of those exports. Curliss said in an email that it’s hard to know the impact of the trade sparring at this moment.

Mexico, China and Canada are three of the top four countries for American pork exports, according to the National Pork Board. The U.S. shipped 1.5 billion pounds of pork products to Mexico, the largest export market, and nearly $800 million to Canada, which is No. 4, according to the National Pork Producers Council.

The European Union produced a 10-page list of products it would retaliate against, if the U.S. imposes the tariffs. Among the products: tobacco in all forms — cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, water-pipe tobacco and smoking tobacco. The state grows about 50 percent of the nation’s tobacco and exports about 75 percent of what it grows, Wooten said. News & Observer

As I mentioned above, tariffs on the macro level are awful.  This is evident in a new report from The Trade Partnership that finds that possible auto tariffs would cause a net loss of 157,000 jobs.  Unfortunately, when it comes to tariffs, projectionist only look at the jobs that will be “saved” or created.  As the TTP repot highlights, 92,000 jobs would be created in the auto industry BUT 250,000 would be destroyed in ancillary and indirect industries.

In North Carolina, we are about to feel the effects of tariffs in a very negative way.  It might be good thing in the long run though.  As horrible as this will be for the workers who lose their jobs, maybe if there pain is seen by North Carolina voters it will break that wall between, as Milton Friedman once coined them, the seen and unseen workers.  After decades of failed protectionist policies we should have learned lesson.  Maybe this time we finally will.

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