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Trump threatens payback for U.S. companies that move abroad

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President-elect Donald Trump gestures toward reporters as he arrives for a party at the home of Robert Mercer, one of his biggest campaign donors, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Head of the Harbor, N.Y.

WASHINGTON >> President-elect Donald Trump is threatening to impose heavy taxes on U.S. companies that move jobs overseas and still try to sell their products to Americans.

But the plan could drive up prices for U.S. businesses and consumers and risk setting off a trade war — if it’s legal to begin with.

In a series of early-morning tweets Sunday, Trump vowed a 35 percent tax on products sold inside the U.S. by any business that fired American workers and built a new factory or plant in another country.

Trump campaigned on a vow to help American workers but also to reduce taxes and regulations on businesses.

Trump tweets “there will be a tax on our soon to be strong border of 35 percent for these companies wanting to sell their product, cars, A.C. units, etc., back across the border.”

He says companies should be “forewarned prior to making a very expensive mistake.”

Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, says Trump would face a potent legal challenge if he tried to impose taxes, known as tariffs, on specific companies without congressional approval.

Hufbauer also doubts that Trump could identify a group of companies —those that move jobs overseas, then ship goods back into America — for special tariffs. “I’m skeptical,” he says, predicting that courts would block such a move.

University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers saw another problem with Trump’s plan: His proposed tariffs would only hit U.S. companies that build plants overseas. They wouldn’t apply to foreign firms that ship goods to the U.S. “Tariffs are one thing,” Wolfers tweeted. “Tariffs that attack only on U.S. firms are another altogether.”

Trump made the comments three days after he announced that appliance maker Carrier had agreed to reverse its decision to ship 800 jobs from an Indiana factory to Mexico.

During the presidential campaign, he repeatedly threatened to impose tariffs — 35 percent on Mexican imports, 45 percent on Chinese. Tariffs are meant to give homegrown companies a price edge by making their foreign competitors’ products more expensive — and to punish foreign countries for unfair trade practices.

Since Trump’s election, his team has described tariffs as a potential tool to be used to pry concessions from America’s trading partners. “Tariffs are part of the negotiation,” Wilbur Ross, an investment banker slated to become Trump’s Commerce secretary, told CNBC last week.

Tariffs could prove costly. They are imposed at the border, and importers would likely try to pass along as much of the cost as possible to their customers.

A 45 percent tariff on Chinese-made goods could drive up U.S. retail prices on those goods by an average of about 10 percent, Capital Economics has calculated. Consumers would probably have to pay up because there are few alternatives to Chinese-made for many products. China, for instance, produces about 70 percent of the world’s laptops and cellphones.

Taxing foreign goods could also start a trade war. The Global Times, a Chinese newspaper, has already warned that China could retaliate by limiting sales of U.S. cars and iPhones and by ordering aircraft from Europe’s Airbus instead of America’s Boeing.

In 2009, the Obama administration taxed Chinese tires to protect American tire makers from a surge in imports. Beijing retaliated with a tax of up to 105 percent on U.S. chicken parts.

Researchers at the Peterson Institute found that the tire tariffs probably saved 1,200 jobs in the U.S. tire industry. But higher tire prices cost American consumers an extra $1.1 billion — more than $900,000 for every job saved.

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  • PE Trump doing what needs to be done to MAGA!

    Hey O..you taking notes on how NOT to place 95 MILLION Americans out of the work force? Awww that’s ok that that’s wooooosh over yo head…being devisive community organizer you dunno….nuttin.

        • There’s only one thing worse than a sore loser…a sore winner. Trump, like keonigohan, needs to grow up. Now that he’s won the election, the hard work begins. He has to learn that what he does now affects the whole country, and not just him and his business. If he doesn’t listen to advisors who know what they’re talking about, his shoot from the hip style will have a hugely adverse effect upon our economy. He must learn about the nuances of international diplomacy or we’re all in trouble.

        • The country is now his business and we now have a strong leader. No worries, he has successful professional people as advisers not community organizers.

        • @ skinny…if you don’t know the history between the sore losers & me, the sore winner, then it’s best you grow up and MYOB.
          As for your lecture on what P.E.Trump has to do you must have been living under a rock not to know what his plans are…oh & btw who are you to lecture anyone in the first place?
          You must have been getting your info from the MSM FAKE NEWS. You must believe O who blamed FOX NEWS for Crooked hiLIARy’s LANDSLIDE LOSS too?

          January 20, 2017 #MAGA

        • Keonigohan, anyone who reads the posts is aware of the back and forths. I’m just saying that crowing on and on about trump winning is pointless and childish. I’m also well aware of the claims and so-called plans trump has made, and he has already backed off on at least half of them. This is what happens when he spouts off without considering what he’s saying. Either that, or his numerous lies eventually catch up with him. He got away with it in the election, but will get into trouble on the world stage if he continues his bad habits. I don’t care how it makes him look, but it will reflect poorly on our country. Btw, winning the popular vote by 2.4 million votes hardly qualifies as a “landslide loss.”

        • @ skinut….if you don’t like my posts why don’t you just MYOB? Your adult lecturing only shows no one in your real life likes listening to you so that’s why you’re here?
          “If you can’t take it don’t dish it” as they say.
          You LOST too I take it from your lecturing?
          Worried about how PE Trump’s administration will govern? I’m not.
          The last I checked PE Trump had 306 vs your hiLIARy had 232 Electoral votes…you along with your party expected the reverse right? I call it a LANDSLIDE VICTORY for PE Trump then…feel better? Oh & btw the popular vote is not recognized…doesn’t count on who wins the election….but if it makes you feel better good for you.

        • My, my. By your ranting, I seem to have hit a nerve. By your prolific posting, I’m guessing you have nothing better to do. In that case, I offer my profuse apologies for offending your tender feelings.

        • @skinut you’re just a buttercup with no substance..”Talk is cheap”
          #SuckItUp,Buttercup. Come back when you grow some conjones then maybe we can discuss substance…

          January 20, 2017 #MAGA
          set your DVR to record the inauguration of a real POTUS.

    • Under Obama private employers have added 15.6 million jobs to their payrolls in the 81 months of sustained growth since February 2010, an average of 193,000 jobs a month.

    • Statistics seem to be way “over yo head” (a little racist joke there). The 95 million “out of the work force” is a meaningless statistic as it includes retirees, disabled, high school students, college students, homemakers, people who chose not to work or who have no need to work. I retired 15 years ago; do you think that Bush “placed” me out of the workforce?

      • I detect BS from BSdetection.
        It’s going to be a long 8 years for you.
        No matter what BS you spew I’m smiling…my guy WON…your guy LOST.
        Eat CROW baby!

        #MAGA

        • Sad to see some posters have their tin foil hat way too tight, cutting circulation from their brain, affecting their decision and thinking process.

          Sad.

  • besides tariffs uncle sam could buy its goods (ball bearings and such) american made.. the donald is smart and he will have to make deals with the unions..he always go for the “win, win” deals..opala will be “schooled”..watch..
    imua!!

        • Knuckledragger & K K K..sore LOSERS.
          Join me on January 20, 2017 for my TAKING BACK AMERICA party!!

          #MAGA

        • Klastri, you’re not going to start up with the nasty comments again, are you? Maybe it makes you feel better, but I believe it turns off a lot of people, meaning you’re not going to change a lot of opinions.

        • “Mostly the undereducated”

          If you mean do not have a college education, it is my impression that common sense does not require a Bachelor’s degree.
          I think it is about 50/50 whether a college education indicates superior intelligence or wisdom.

    • Yes, PE Trump will since now he has the power to undo & redo NAFTA…Bubba Clinton’s disastrous deal. Thank Allah (Dem’s God) hiLIARy’s LIES did her in, of course with the assist of the Dem’s MSM collision partners.

      January 20, 3017 #MAGA

  • All them rednecks in idaho,nebraska,oklahoMA texas,etc.etc
    will cry when their favorite Walmart prices go up by 20%. The uneducated trump voters will say” Eh how cum”.

      • YOU like that guy who says, when I was YOUNG I was good you know, I hit a HR when I was 9 years old…I NEVER do nothing since though. You living in the past MAN…Nanakuli talking about the future and ALL you got to say is, Trump won a month ago…GET over it!!! Clintons CROW had been eaten only get TRUMP leftovers now, in a fee days we THROW out the leftovers. #MAGA

        December 25, 2016 #SANTA, You best believe it, what, what!!!

    • How about a 30 percent tariff on Swiss bank accounts, and another 30% for having foreign investments, and 30% on money borrowed from the Chinese? And another 10% tariff for people who hide their tax returns. Hahaha, Trump would finally pay taxes—and have nothing left!

      How do ya like them, Apples, Donald!!!

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