Congratulations, The European Union Starts Making Us All Poorer On Friday

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The European Union has decided that it would be a good idea to make all Europeans poorer starting upon Friday. That’s good news from the people who rule our continent, isn’t it? But that is what they’re doing. For it simply is true that import tariffs make the consumers behind those barriers poorer. The EU is imposing import tariffs upon exports into the EU from the US. No, it doesn’t matter why, what it’s in reaction to nor the realpolitik, these tariffs make us Europeans poorer.

So, you know, thanks guys.

European Union tariffs on products from the United States will go into effect on Friday.
The European Commission announced Wednesday that it had approved initial retaliatory tariffs on US exports worth €2.8 billion ($3.2 billion).

Sure, it’s not a great sum of money but we are still poorer as a result.

U.S. goods, including steel and aluminum products, farm produce such as sweetcorn and peanuts, bourbon, jeans and motor-bikes.

Bourbon will become more expensive in Europe. Thus those who drink it will be poorer if they continue to do so. Sure, of course, they might switch to something else to drink – but the very fact that they currently drink bourbon not that other booze shows that they prefer the American stuff. Having to drink the other will also be their becoming poorer:

The European Union will begin charging import duties of 25 percent

Note what also happens. Those domestically produced items, whether direct replacements or more tangentially related substitutes, face less competition. Their producers will thus be able to raise prices, or perhaps just not reduce them, given that absent competition. This again makes us all poorer.

Again, it doesn’t matter why, nor what any justification might be. Import tariffs make us consumers poorer. The EU is imposing import tariffs – we will be poorer. Thank goodness we’re leaving a system as stupid as this, eh?

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Nautical Nick
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Nautical Nick

Where do the tariffs go? To the EU..?

forsyth
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forsyth

Looking at the list, I wondered whether many of the 25%/50% imposts would tend to hit the UK harder, because it does more trade with non-EU countries (US in particular) than many of the EU27 who have more “trade” amongst themselves (not sure it really counts as trade any more if it’s in the SM).

Spike
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Spike

“Thank goodness we’re leaving a system as stupid as this, eh?” — Not until you can explain why the British Parliament would not take equally stupid decisions based on the same misconception.

Tariffs count in the already agreed national payment to the EU? Then an individual Brit can decide between paying £1 to the EU because Trump, or opting for Anglian bourbon and paying £1 to the EU because the sun came up. It is only the total payable to the EU that makes Britain poorer, so changing the stated basis for any payment has no effect.

jgh
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jgh

I would much prefer our morons make stupid decisions, as we can kick them out with impunity.

The chance that somebody making their own decisions carries with it a risk that they may make stupid decisions is not a reason to deny people the ability to make their own decisions. Rather, it is a reason *TO* let them make their own decisions, force them to make their own decisions even.

Spike
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Spike

We are Violently In Agreement on that, excepting only the implication that post-Brexit will be dramatically superior to pre-Brexit. The US’s morons are still making stupid decisions, and giving voters the weak choice of name-calling versus capitulation to name-calling. Hope youse do better, but show me how.

Pat
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Pat

Does this get passed round all the talking shops of Europe? What happens if,say, the Walloons object? Does it all go on hold like the Canada trade deal? After all there could well be some fans of jeans or bourbon in some EU satrapy.
Or do the rules only apply when the EU wants them to.

Rhoda Klapp
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Rhoda Klapp

Jeans come from mexico or vietnam, don’t they? Like cars. All the big German makers have factories all over the place. Last time I checked Mercedes were made in 28 countries. Don’t they enter customs with the most favourable country of origin? And, incidentally the EU makes me poorer every day anyhow. Another little bit won’t be noticed.

Bongo
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Bongo

When it is suggested that the UK pursues some fruitcake policy like trading on WTO terms at maximum WTO tariffs, then we get ‘impact assessments’ saying by how much we will be worse off.
When the EU wants to raise tariffs, there is no requirement not even a suggestion that the Commission do an impact assessment first.
It’s one rule for rebellious Brits, quite another set of principles for the EU.