So the US Congress is guilty of the usual crowd pleasing stupidity, they\’ve added protectionist measures to the bailout bill. However, the important thing is not what they do in their foolishness but what we do in response. Sadly, this isn\’t looking good.
European Commission representatives and diplomats from the British, French, Canadian and Mexican embassies in Washington have all launched an intensive lobbying operation to convince senators to strike the provisions from the bill they will debate this week.
A Western diplomat in Washington made clear that otherwise a trade war was in prospect. "The EU has said it will not stand idly by and let this happen. I\’ve not heard words that strong from Brussels in 20 years," the official said.
We should indeed stand idly by of course. Sure, shout about how silly they\’re being but if they go ahead we should do precisely sweet fuck all.
For there\’s a basic fact about trade that all too many people don\’t get. Indeed, it seems that the trade negotiators don\’t get it.
Imports are what make us rich, exports are just the shit we do to buy them.
If the Americans decide that they don\’t want to import steel then that makes them poorer. Absolutely the last thing we want to do if they do is to limit our own imports thus making ourselves poorer.
We just don\’t want a trade war and whatever the US does it is still in our hands as to whether we have one or not. Our reaction should be (but sadly won\’t):
"You\’re making all Americans poorer. Have fun, we decline to do the same to all Europeans."