Tariffs on Washing Machines Coming Up: Let’s Tax the Sun and the Rain Too

Whirpool bitched to the Trump administration and the International Trade Commission about unfair pricing on Samsung and LG-brand washing machines.

by Mish

The ITC panel ruled U.S. washing machine makers hurt by South Korean imports, so your price is guaranteed to go up.

The U.S. International Trade Commission on Thursday found that imports of large residential washing machines were harming domestic producers, in a major step the imposition of duties or quotas on foreign-made Samsung- and LG-brand washers.
The case, brought by U.S. appliance giant Whirlpool Corp, asked the ITC to recommend to President Donald Trump “global safeguard” restrictions on imported washing machines to stop South Korean rivals Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and LG Electronics Inc from flooding the U.S. market with cheap washers.
The commission, which voted 4-0 in finding that large residential washers were being imported in such quantities to create injury to domestic producers, will recommend remedies by Dec. 4 to Trump, who is expected to make a final decision by early next year.

Crony Capitalism

The ITC ruling will not save a single US job. But it will drive up costs on US consumers.

When corporations cannot compete, they bitch. They also pad the pockets of politicians so the politicians see things their way.

French economist Frédéric Bastiat wrote about this in 1845. I encourage everyone to read Bastiat’s famous Candlestick makers’ Petition.

The petition was a sarcastic proposal on behalf of candle makers and similar occupations to tax the sun for the unfair practice of providing free light.

Were it not for the sun, there would be more jobs for the manufacturers of Candles, Tapers, Lanterns, sticks, Street Lamps, Snuffers, and Extinguishers, and from Producers of Tallow, Oil, Resin, Alcohol, and Generally of Everything Connected with Lighting says Bastiat in his petition.

Let’s Tax the Sun and the Rain

Bastiat’s petition explains the folly of tariffs. Samsung is no more stealing jobs than is the sun.

Speaking of which, the US has massive sugar tariffs to protect the sugar lobby from “unfair competition” from countries that happen to have better-growing conditions for sugar cane because they get more sunlight and water.

Hmm. It seems we need to tax water for falling into Lake Superior and Lake Michigan instead of the desert where’s it’s badly needed.

Why should Illinois farmers get more rain than Arizona farmers? By tariff logic, we need to level out the playing field so that all corn farmers in Arizona and Greenland are not disadvantaged compared to Illinois.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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