Tariffs Are Tarrible.  Oh, And Happy Bastille Day!  (July 16, 2018)

. . .

K          “The unexpected $4200 surcharge for the schedule 80 steel pipes used to support the solar arrays was a real hit.  If fuel jumped in price during the performance of the contract, the fuel surcharge provision in the contract covered the jump, but he never anticipated that steel would be subject to a tariff and a big jump in price.  He has to eat the loss.”

J          “So they placed tariffs directly on solar panels and indirectly on solar panel support pipes.  I know ordinary homeowners who are also impacted.  While provisioning materials for her addition, a friend found that Canadian lumber is now subject to a tariff and is off the shelves.  Stores stock only one brand in each dimension.  The American lumber is more expensive.”

. . .

J          “Most business persons agree that predictability of even an unpleasant factor is preferable to uncertainty.” 

K          “Folks may be able to absorb the cost, hassle, dislocations and inconvenience of the tariffs individually, but can a just-in-time manufacturing and distribution system survive the jolts collectively?”

. . .

K          “Are the American steel workers better off?”

J          “Are the American lumber jacks better off?”

. . .

K          “Are the Americans better off?”

J          “Is the world better off?”

. . .

Bumper sticker of the week:

Tariffs are not so good

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