The US decides to go full protectionist in the 70s

Nov 2014
399
ph
#1
What will be the consequence if the US decided to go full protectionist in the 70s in order to protect its steel industry and other strategic industries like autos and appliances? Like if the US decided to slap 1000 percent tariffs on imported steel from Europe and Japan, appliances, and cars from foreign manufacturers, in order to protect the big 3, Bethlehem Steel, and RCA/Zenith? Consdering the very large population of the US as a domestic market, and its very self sufficient industries, they might be pull this off, especially since they can reason that the Asian tiger economies are even more blatant in their protectionist policies, and the US is just following suit.
 
Sep 2013
830
Chattanooga, TN
#2
What will be the consequence if the US decided to go full protectionist in the 70s in order to protect its steel industry and other strategic industries like autos and appliances? Like if the US decided to slap 1000 percent tariffs on imported steel from Europe and Japan, appliances, and cars from foreign manufacturers, in order to protect the big 3, Bethlehem Steel, and RCA/Zenith? Consdering the very large population of the US as a domestic market, and its very self sufficient industries, they might be pull this off, especially since they can reason that the Asian tiger economies are even more blatant in their protectionist policies, and the US is just following suit.
If the US went full protectionist in the 70s, it would have strengthened the economy in the locations of the smelting plants of Bethlehem Steel, RCA, and Zenith, but it would have weakened the economy everywhere else in America. It seems to me like free trade would generally benefit America economically. If American consumers can buy a Chinese product that is both cheaper and higher quality than the American version of the product, wouldn't that generally benefit American consumers?
 
Mar 2013
72
Stafford, VA
#3
If the US went full protectionist in the 70s, it would have strengthened the economy in the locations of the smelting plants of Bethlehem Steel, RCA, and Zenith, but it would have weakened the economy everywhere else in America. It seems to me like free trade would generally benefit America economically. If American consumers can buy a Chinese product that is both cheaper and higher quality than the American version of the product, wouldn't that generally benefit American consumers?
But the Chinese products aren't generally higher quality, and if you don't have a job because the industry has been outsourced to another country, the lower cost is still too expensive.
 
Jan 2018
334
Sturgeon Lake Mn.
#4
If American consumers can buy a Chinese product that is both cheaper and higher quality than the American version of the product, wouldn't that generally benefit American consumers?
That would depend on where a consumer works.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,049
US
#5
In the 1970s the nation that was flooding the American market with inexpensive products was Japan. As for protectionism in that decade, in the 1970s many within the steel industry argued for tariffs, as other nations were building new, more efficient plants that were often heavily subsidized by their nation's government or had protective tariffs.
The Steel Import Crisis
Others argued it was all about outdated technology in the American mills.
Steel crisis - Wikipedia
Regardless, when the industry collapsed in the late 1970s, early 1980s, many lamented the loss of jobs.
A full blown tariff war may have had negative ramifications in other areas, which is why Reagan did not implement the tariffs during his first term.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,188
Las Vegas, NV USA
#6


Something like this? Most economist agree that the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930 turned a secular downturn into an unprecedented depression that only ended with WWII.
 
Likes: Edratman
May 2017
149
Monterrey
#7
Modern economies are service economies. Protectionist policies at the cost of service economy for the benefit of chosen industries would yeild a net negative.
 

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,669
USA
#8
A country like USA needs to produce some 80% of the products that its people consume to improve their standard of living, to continuously advance the prosperity. Otherwise such countries become mostly service based, and incomes will decrease or stagnate, so will the prosperity.
 
Likes: Edratman
Aug 2014
4,473
Australia
#9
Likes: Edratman

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,669
USA
#10
Can anyone find a single industry today that is benefitting from the current round of tariffs?

Even the dairy industry is suffering.
Wisconsin Dairy Farmers Going Bankrupt in Record Numbers, Blame Trump Tariffs
Milk consumption had been decreasing in USA for a long time, so dairy farmers should have adapted to the market long ago. They should have used their lands for producing all kinds of farm products in addition to dairy. Canada puts some 325% tariff on some US dairy products - in place for ages. Far eastern countries that have great trade surpluses have had hefty tariffs on US products for a long time, and are doing pretty well.
 

Similar History Discussions