Our Commerce Department is indicating it will apply a 31 percent tariff on all solar panel imports from China. This is because China has been dumping their panels on our market at 31% below market value and it’s putting our manufacturers out of business.
“While some, frustrated by the high U.S. unemployment, want punishment doled out to China, others say protectionism only hurts the consumers who are forced to pay more.”
Protectionism? Oh? Is that a bad word now, we’re not supposed to protect our industry, it’s not PC? If this tariff goes through it will be the first actually positive thing His Highness has done for American manufacturing. Yes, this will increase the cost of Chinese no-quality-control crap products to equal the cost of American high quality products, and those who would rather have cheap panels that won’t last will pay more. Those who are too savvy to buy that Chinese junk will not only still pay the same prices that they have been, but also they will still be able to buy American because their favorite manufacturer will still be able to stay in business.
I’ve harped away in previous posts about putting tariffs on foreign goods that are dumped here in a deliberate move to put our companies out of business. Once our manufacturing is shut down, then the prices go up and the quality gets even worse.
The Japs did this to us in the 1980′s with transistors and microchips. Their government backed up the Jap manufacturers so they could dump chips on us at less than their cost and wreck our industry. It nearly worked, too. What ended things in our favor wasn’t tariffs, that were never applied, but our manufacturers, who came up with so many technological advances, and such superior merchandise, that the Japs couldn’t afford to keep selling at a loss any longer. We beat them by being better.
However, that was when our economy was up. Now, price is often more important than quality, and now more than ever, we need to protect our economy from outside attacks from aggressive nations like China. So if Obama gets behind this tariff, maybe (not holding my breath but maybe) he’ll see the wisdom of applying more tariffs where they’ll matter, too.
After all, there’s an election coming up. Unfortunately, this one deal is too little and too late for our economy, but then, fortunately, it’s also too little and too late for Obama to make any difference.