11/4/19

Tariffs, China — How They Work

Everybody I know keeps telling me that tariffs won’t work, while I continue to stumble on instance after instance in which they work just fine.

Let me define what “work” means.

In my definition, the USA imposes a tariff on goods made in China, thereby making US-made products more attractive, and the company who makes the Chinese manufactured goods takes some action that somehow improves the US economy. That sound fair?

In this instance, we have the Stanley Black & Decker tool manufacturing company that bought the Craftsman brand from the failing Sears company moving production back to the United States.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

“When we purchased Craftsman in 2017 we were determined to revitalize this iconic U.S. brand and bring back its American manufacturing heritage,” Stanley Black & Decker President and CEO Jim Loree said in a statement. “From the launch of Craftsman’s refreshed brand identity last year to our announcement of the first new manufacturing facility in many years, we’re demonstrating our continued commitment to grow the brand and bring even more production of these great products back to the United States.”

When Jim Loree says he wants to refresh the brand identity, he is also planning on a $1B impact on sales by 2021.

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07/28/19

Tech, Taxes, Tariffs, Trade — And French Wine

France has imposed/threatened a “digital services tax” on the likes of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google — all American companies.

The tax is 3% of gross revenues from digital services earned in France, but only for companies with more than 25MM Euros in French revenue and 750MM Euros in worldwide gross revenue. The tax money goes to France.

When you work through the math it puts a bullseye on Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google while giving a pass to many European companies who collectively are just as big as these digital behemoths. This is not an accident.

This tax was discussed for some time period, but its enactment caught a lot of folks by surprise. One who was not caught by surprise was President Donald J Trump.

President Trump had spoken to the French President Emmanuel Macron cautioning him that such a tax would be met with an American response.

Image result for images macron

President Trump, in his inimitable fashion said, “Don’t do it because if you do it, I’m going to tax your wine.” Macron blew him off. French wine is a huge industry.

The French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, sniffing at the ruffian DJ Trump, suggested that taxes and tariffs were completely unrelated. Good luck with that, Bruno.

Taxes and tariffs are core elements of trade while technology, digital services are a critical element of American commerce.

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