Despite the disastrous economic record tariffs, President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to implement a 35 percent tariff — a tax — on companies that move overseas and then try to import their products back into the United States.
Trump, who said during the campaign that he knows “more about ISIS than the generals do,” defended his pro-tariff stance on Fox News Sunday while attacking the Wall Street Journal that has been highly critical of the policy. The President-elect told Chris Wallace that the Journal’s editorial board doesn’t understand business.
“Honestly, their editorial board doesn’t get it. I don’t think they understand business,” Trump said. “I don’t think the Wall Street Journal editorial board, and I know some of them, they’re really nice. I don’t think they understand business,” he reiterated.
Additionally, Trump told Wallace that while he’s in favor of free markets, not punishing companies for moving overseas is “the dumb market,” citing 70,000 factories that have closed over the years in the U.S.
“That’s the dumb market, okay? That’s the dumb market. I’m a big free trader, but it has to be fair,” Trump argued. “Business is way down…And the way you stop it is by imposing a tax.”
Trump told Wallace that in his opinion, businesses would never face the tax because they probably wouldn’t move in the face of the 35 percent tax, but if they do, they’re is “going to be consequences.”
“There’s a 35 percent tax, but there is no tax if you don’t move. But if you move your plant or factory and you want to sell back into our country, you fire all your people, there are going to be consequences for that. There are going to be consequences.”
Many free market economists believe that Trump’s tariffs would have more of a punishing effect on consumers, who would be the ones paying the tax in the form of higher prices, much in the same way that corporate taxes aren’t really paid by businesses, but ultimately by the consumers who buy their products.