tarrifs worldwide

Trump, Tariffs and Testosterone 2018

Is it tariff trade war time?

Is it tariff trade war time? Is business simply always another battle? if it is battle after battle who will win the war?

Trump has tapped into a whole range of areas that many people feel have left them undervalued at best, or in many cases neglected. It seems our nature is to rally behind a leader who can share that angst and offer a fighting testosterone inspired series of battles to resolve.

But what happens in the ‘my tariffs are bigger than yours’ game? I will leave detailed analysis of that to economists and historians, but every business person knows that a price for a good or a service must add value for both the purchaser and the seller. Any transaction that seeks to enforce one side only, has been tackled throughout the history of industrialisation, whether through labour laws, anti-trust or welfare systems. Yes, there have been many casualties along the way.

Yet this current position of tariff war is matched by the cabal of the finance markets calling the tune for the dance of everybody’s lives. And it is a testosterone fuelled dance. ‘the markets will tell Italy what to do’ was a rapidly retracted statement in the most recent machinations between Italy and the EU. So are tariffs simply an expression of the need for societies, personified in Trump, and Putin perhaps, to continually build their body mass. Is this the only way we can work in this ever dangerous world?

The universe flexes its muscles too, and knows how to survive and change far better than us. Even as the news is dominated by Trump and Tariffs, the planet’s destruction is almost a sideshow in the continued battles of dissatisfaction. But this dissatisfaction is more properly described as fear.

Fear : at a personal level of survival.

Fear : at the inequalities we seem unable to reduce.

tarrifs worldwide

Is it tariff trade war time?

'We should all think very carefully and invite politicians of all varieties to think through solutions that impact positively world-wide. Tariff wars as they are currently framed seem very unlikely to do that.'

Is it tariff trade war time?

These fears override the fear of the planetary destruction and the ultimate response it will present to us. There are good things to be made of tariff evaluation. No agreement should be forever. NAFTA and many aspects of EU organisation demonstrate this. In this respect Trump and others are right to invite battle. The progress comes from the tactics you use in the fight. The answer has to be to identify the difference between nonsense and legitimate objections to some aspects of trade and organisation. And while we are at it we can address the planet, global inequalities and how the wealthy individuals and corporations hide behind the scenes of every tariff battle ready to find the solution that best suits them. We should all think very carefully and invite politicians of all varieties to think through solutions that impact positively world-wide. Tariff wars as they are currently framed seem very unlikely to do that.

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