Maybe the survivalists were just prepping for the Trump election:
President Trump appears prepared to unravel 70 years of painstaking effort that the United States has led to build an international system of trade based on mutually accepted rules and principles.
Ever since an agreement on trade emerged in 1947 from the ashes of World War II, presidents of both parties have pushed this system as a way to strengthen alliances and promote the expansion of democracy and prosperity in Europe and Asia.
But with Trump’s decision last week to enact aluminum and steel tariffs against U.S. allies in Europe and North America, he is subverting previously agreed-upon trade pacts. The result is a brewing trade war with Canada, Mexico and Europe, which are expressing shock and bitter frustration while enacting tariffs of their own on a bevy of American products.
The measures announced last week went beyond Trump’s previous actions, such as pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a recently forged trade agreement among 12 nations, and his efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.
President Donald Trump’s trade war is supposed to help boost America’s job market, but new tariffs could actually make things ugly for US workers.
On Thursday, Trump announced that the US would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from three key US allies: Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. The move follows earlier metals tariffs on countries around the world.
Peter Navarro, Trump’s protectionist-leaning trade adviser, wrote in a USA Today op-ed that the metals tariffs will be a boon for American workers.
But economists and trade experts say the ultimate result will be a net loss in US jobs — perhaps in the hundreds of thousands.
The tariffs will likely boost the price of steel and aluminum in the US, since metal imports will be subject to the additional tax. These higher prices are good news for steel and aluminum manufacturers, but they present a problem for companies that use those metals.
Increased costs for businesses that use steel and aluminum will put pressure on profits and force those companies to cut costs. Some of the necessary cost cutting is likely to come from the workforce, leading to layoffs.
And then there is this from the liberal Wall Street Journal:
New tariffs intended to bolster the American steel and aluminum industries are starting to have the opposite effect in a key part of the U.S. supply chain.
U.S. steel producers are benefiting from tariffs that make it more expensive for companies to buy the metals overseas. But some U.S. firms that use the metals to make everything from refrigeration parts to wheels say the tariffs have led to higher materials prices that are forcing them to charge more for their products. These firms say that in some cases, customers are turning to foreign suppliers that use cheaper, tariff-free metals to make the same products they can then export to the U.S. without bumping up against the new trade barriers.
The fallout, while so far limited, illustrates how efforts to protect some U.S. companies can cause unintended pain for others.
“This is a nightmare for steel consumers,” said H.O. Woltz III, chief executive of Insteel Industries Inc., a North Carolina maker of concrete reinforcements. Mr. Woltz said some of Insteel’s customers have indicated they will boost imports.
This is the best theory as to why Trump is doing this (other than being a fucking ignoramus):
Terrifying is right.