In the late 70s, early 80s, I saw the damage protectionism did in Latin America firsthand. I’ve been a free trade supporter ever since. But I now support slapping tariffs on imported oil with an exception for Canadian and Mexican oil. I like that it reinforces an important new reality – We, the USA, do not need Mid Eastern oil. Nor do we need Russian oil. African, Central Asian, South Asian and Aussie neither. #wegotoursbitches The policy implications of this for US interests are large, I think,
All the newly converted Russophobes should line up to support this idea. It is a good swift kick in the cojones to our modern day Vlad the impaler, from the dark steppes and the KGB. It may not stop him from his impaling ways with Russian gymnasts, but he will have much less money for hacking western pols email accounts. Of course it doesn’t take a lot of money when they fall for spearphishing scams that teenagers were using ten years ago, as with Podesta, Blumenthal, DNC, and, of course, firstname.lastname@example.org. But the point is we be #resisting #resistPutin
I am thinking $10 tariff per bbl of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) equivalent. WTI is the Pabst Blue Ribbon of crude oils and a feedstock any refiner can be proud of.
Lots of economists will argue the tariff won’t change much because oil (in aggregate) is a fungible product. And I agree with them. Only when market prices are very low in 21st century terms (low 30s and below) will it have any effects. Those effects would principally be american consumer pays more for oil than otherwise, american oil producers produce more than otherwise, and US government gets a little bit of tariff revenue.
With or without the tariff I see real possibilities that oil prices could get very low for several years. Oil demand could fall below estimates by several percent over the next few years, due to combined effect of electric cars/ bikes and ride sharing services. If they do the price is likely to fall more than a few percent, perhaps into the 20s. This would dramatically and probably permanently reduce the power and influence of petro-states everywhere. Not a bad thing as far I am concerned.
If I am wrong about the low oil price period (I could easily be, especially if war in Mid East were to intensify) then the US oil price is same as world price, US government gets no tariff revenue and the decline of the petro-states takes another 5-10 years unless war drags them down sooner.
I also support expanding our list of approved tariff-free exporters to other countries in this hemishpere. One could call this policy Americas First . Again this underscores the fact this, mostly peaceful, region of the world does not need oil from exporters in regions prone to conflict, fanaticism, and gangster governments. And begs the question why the USA would ever spend blood and money trying to make it peaceful.
Newly converted Russophobes should love this policy, if they can just stop quivering with rage for a few minutes. . It is a swift kick in the cojones to our modern day Vald the impaler, from the dark steppes of Muscovy.