Tag Archives: protectionism

Open letter to President Trump: Avoid trade restrictions on solar panels

Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute
by various

“Dear President Trump, On behalf of the undersigned organizations, representing millions of Americans, we urge you to reject any trade restrictions in Inv. No. TA-201-075 (Safeguard). If trade restrictions are imposed, the cost of solar products in the United States could double, endangering tens of thousands of good paying domestic jobs within the solar industry.” (10/27/17)


More questions for protectionists

Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“– Does your neighbor have the right to take up vegetable farming in his backyard without being fined by the government for doing so? – Does your neighbor have the right to repair his ten-year-old car in order to keep it running for a few more years? – Does your neighbor have the right to change the oil, with his own hands, in his own car? – Does your neighbor have the right to buy a used car? – Does your neighbor have the right to sell his car, to move closer to work, and to walk or bicycle daily to work rather than drive to work?” (10/28/17)


President Trump shouldn’t give in to the solar industry’s drama

Source: Cato Institute
by David Boaz

“Any source that supplies solar panels to American consumers and businesses is a competitor of the American industry. And any source that can deliver any product cheaper than American companies is a tough competitor. Domestic producers will no doubt gain by imposing a tariff on their Chinese competitors, but American companies that install solar power will lose, by having to pay higher prices for panels. Indeed, as is often in the case in trade matters, not all the companies in the industry are in agreement. This case was brought by two companies, but the largest solar trade group in the nation, the Solar Energy Industries Association, opposes tariffs. The association says that if the two companies get what they are asking for, prices for solar power will rise, consumer demand will fall, and the industry will lose some 88,000 jobs, about one-third of the current American solar workforce. Interestingly, the two companies that brought the complaint, Suniva and SolarWorldAmericasTwo, are based in the United States but are respectively owned by German and Chinese firms.” (10/18/17)


Boeing whines: “Mean ol’ Bombardier found a way around our corporate welfare scam”

Source: NBC News

“Boeing late Monday dismissed a deal between Airbus and Bombardier to make CSeries jets in Alabama, calling it an attempt to dodge import duties recommended by the U.S. Commerce Department following the U.S. airplane maker’s trade complaint. ‘This looks like a questionable deal between two heavily state-subsidised competitors to skirt the recent findings of the U.S. government,’ a Boeing spokesman said. ‘Our position remains that everyone should play by the same rules, for free and fair trade to work.'” [editor’s note: Boeing’s definition of “free and fair trade” is “tax the hell out of the serfs to keep us loaded down with ‘defense’ contracts, and make sure no one is allowed to compete with us in the US passenger aircraft market” – TLK] (10/17/17)


Could Trump be about to kill US solar industry jobs?

Source: CounterPunch
by Linda Pentz Gunter

“Last month, the International Trade Commission, in a 4-0 vote, sided with two American solar manufacturers who had filed a petition under Section 201 of the Trade Act seeking relief from foreign manufactured solar cells. The petition only had to show that the two companies — Suniva and SolarWorld Americas — could not compete because of the import of cheaper solar cells, mainly from China but also Mexico. They were not obliged to demonstrate malicious intent by their rivals. Ironically, the two companies in question have foreign roots. Suniva is owned by Chinese venture capitalists who simply want their money back. The parent company of SolarWorld Americas is German, although the U.S. division is fiscally independent. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), estimates the ruling could ‘more than double the cost of solar and put 88,000 jobs at risk.'” (10/13/17)


A protectionist utopia?

Source: EconLog
by Pierre Lemieux

“It is impossible for all individuals to simultaneously benefit from price competition as consumers and, as producers, from protection against competition. Price competition requires that firms and workers compete for their markets and their jobs. This competition for the patronage of consumers implies continuous disruption of production. A totally protectionist world cannot enjoy competitive prices because, by definition, people are banned from buying at the lowest prices that can be quoted on the market. If everybody were protected as a producer, nobody would be ‘protected’ as a consumer. What is feasible, however, is for some groups of individuals to be granted special protectionist measures in their interest while they are still allowed to import what they want without protectionist barriers. This is what special interests obtain.” (10/11/17)


Two solar companies got big subsidies from Obama. Now they want protective tariffs from Trump.

Source: Reason
by Tim Panzarella

“Two bankrupt green energy companies may be given new lives, thanks to the economic protectionism in the guise of ‘America First.’ Suniva and Solarworld, like many companies in the renewable energy industry, have received millions of taxpayer dollars in the form of grants and tax incentives over the past decade. Now, both are pinning their hopes on the Trump administration’s likely move to levy heavy tariffs on foreign competitors. Suniva received more than $20 million in tax credits before going bankrupt. SolarWorld was given over $100 million before filing for insolvency this April. But the subsidies weren’t enough. Suniva and SolarWorld recently filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, a federal agency that investigates trade matters and handles complaints, with the aim of getting the ITC to recommend tariff duties on the cheap Chinese imports the two companies claim are hurting their bottom lines.” (09/28/17)


Corporate welfare watch: US trade bureaucrats try to jack up the price Americans pay for solar panels

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“A U.S. trade panel has ruled that low-cost solar panels imported from China and other countries have caused serious injury to American manufacturers, raising the possibility of the Trump administration imposing tariffs that could double the price of solar panels from aboard. Friday’s vote by the International Trade Commission was unanimous. The trade commission has until mid-November to recommend a remedy to President Donald Trump, with a final decision on tariffs expected in January. … Georgia-based Suniva Inc., and Oregon-based SolarWorld Americas brought the case, saying a flood of imports have pushed them to the brink of extinction. Suniva declared bankruptcy, while SolarWorld had to lay off three-quarters of its workforce. Cheap imports have led to a boom in the U.S. solar industry, where rooftop and other installations have surged tenfold since 2011.” (09/23/17)


Trump ponders trade war with China

Source: Deutsche Welle [Germany]

“While US President Donald Trump presses China to step up pressure against North Korea, he is considering sparking a trade war with the world’s second largest economy. On Monday, Trump plans to sign an executive order asking his trade office to investigate China for its alleged theft of American technology and intellectual property [sic]. … The commissioned report may take a year to compile but could lead to US sanctions against Beijing.” (08/13/17)


Protectionism expands the power and reach of government

Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“Why would a liberty activist encourage government to obstruct people’s ability to buy imports? Why would a liberty activist entreat the state to punitively tax buyers who spend their money in ways that you and Trump find objectionable? Why would a liberty activist cheer on a policy that artificially inflates the profits of some producers by artificially stripping other producers of resources and by stripping all consumers of options? Why would a liberty activist suppose that liberty is served rather than betrayed by joining his or her voice with yours in calling for the state to threaten peaceful people with violence? Why would a liberty activist actively oppose liberty? Those who join with you to encourage Trump to ‘implement his trade agenda’ are neither friends of liberty nor advocates of limited government.” (05/22/17)