Letter to the Editor

Knowing some history is good

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

In a recent Letter to the Editor titled "A check on Our Values" the writer begins with the statement "Republican conservatism used to center on: free trade, family values, fiscal conservatism, limited government and strong international leadership." I believe they still do.

The first bone the writer picks is with the so called "trade war." In case you haven't heard, the United States has a terrible negative trade balance that threatens to sink our economy. To understand how it got that way it is helpful to understand a little history. After World War II the United States economy was very strong while industries in Europe, Japan, and the rest of the world were very weak. After the war, we agreed to trade policies to help countries that had been heavily damaged during the war to regain their economic footing.

The problem is these unfavorable trade policies continued long after the war decades, as a matter of fact. When previous administrations tried to negotiate more balanced trade agreements, they were rebuffed by the counties that were enjoying the unfair balance of trade. No amount of negotiations was able to make these countries budge from high tariffs on the United States products. One way to get the benefitting countries to wake up and seriously negotiate was to place tariffs on their products coming into the United States.

Some people thought these new tariffs were the result of President Trump wanting to act mean. The Chinese have been very smart. They retaliated on agricultural products particularly soybeans an industry that has strong support for President Trump. Let's hope President Trump can hold out long enough to get the Chinese to reduce their tariffs and trade barriers. President Trump has said he would like to move toward "zero" tariffs on all products let's hope he can achieve that goal.

It is amazing President Trump has a favorable job performance rating that is comparable or better than President Obama at the same time in his presidency. Particularly when 91 percent of the national news media stories (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, NPR, NYT, and WP) about President Trump are negative.

Speaking of party policy what is the policy of the Democratic Party? It sounds like Democrats are supporting higher income taxes, open borders, impeach 45, and support for sanctuary cities. Are those the policies they will support publicly as we move closer to the November election?

Phil Petersen

Okoboji