Economic Affairs: Misguided tariffs and mismeasured trade

The US trade deficit is overstated and tariffs won't reduce it

"Remember, I am a tariff man," declared US President Donald Trump in December, in a dark warning of what he would do if he didn't get a satisfactory trade deal with China.

It turned out that he didn't. So last month, he ratcheted up the already existing tariffs on Chinese imports and threatened to extend them to everything that China sells to the United States. He also threatened to raise tariffs on car imports from Japan and the European Union. He has already slapped tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from several countries.

Please or to continue reading the full article. Learn more about ST PREMIUM.

Enjoy unlimited access to ST's best work

  • Exclusive stories and features on multiple devices
  • In-depth analyses and opinion pieces
  • ePaper and award-winning multimedia content
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2019, with the headline 'Misguided tariffs and mismeasured trade'. Print Edition | Subscribe