Any college freshman who takes economics 101 learns that protectionist tariffs do markedly more harm than good. They learn that by reading about the Smoot Hawley Tariff Act of 1930. The first draft of the bill was meant to help farmers by imposing tariffs on agricultural imports from Europe. But then, other industries said, hey, we want protection, too. Congress gave in to them and ended up enacting tariffs on hundreds of products.
The results were disastrous.
By laying on more and more tariffs, Trump apparently thinks he can cow China into making concessions, although what concessions he wants he hasn’t said. The Chinese seem disinclined to back down in the face of what they have called “blackmail.”
Read the full perspective at forbes.com.