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This article had many pro and cons in the online version, too many to list, to view access this online at HuffPost.MA

Marc Lamont Hill
HuffPost•May 17, 2018

 

“Hopefully, we can move beyond these arguments and engage in deeper and more nuanced conversations about creating peace, justice and freedom in the region.”
On Monday, one day prior to the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding, the Trump administration fulfilled its promise to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. This move was followed by Palestinian protests in the West Bank and Gaza, with Israeli soldiers killing over 50 Palestinians, including children, and wounding over 1,000 others. Since then, debates have been raging among pundits, policymakers and everyday citizens about the struggle over Israel and Palestine. Unfortunately, many of these conversations are animated by the same stale and problematic talking points. Here are seven of the most damaging:
1. These people have been fighting forever.
This is one of the most often repeated and inaccurate comments on the conflict. The truth is that Arabs and Jews have not been fighting forever. Rather, it can be dated to the end of the 20th century or, more acutely, the beginning of the post-World War I British Mandatory period. In addition to being historically inaccurate, such a claim frames the issue as something unsolvable and intractable, in addition to reinforcing longstanding ideas of Arabs as barbaric and inherently violent.

Palestinians want peace. But justice is always a precondition of peace.
2. This is a religious conflict.
This, too, is inaccurate. Palestinians are not a religious monolith. While majority Muslim, the Palestinian community has always included Muslims, Christians and Jews. Also, prior to Zionist settlement at the end of the Ottoman Empire, religious diversity was a feature of historic Palestine. Even after Jewish immigration began, Zionist settlers were mainly secular, as were the indigenous Palestinians.
But this isn’t just a question of historical accuracy. By framing the conflict as religious, we are encouraged to see it as an internecine squabble between two equally earnest parties who are in possession of competing religious texts or scriptural interpretations. Simply put, this is not about religion. It’s about land theft, expulsion and ethnic cleansing by foreign settlers to indigenous land.
3. It’s very complicated.
In a certain way, the issue is indeed complicated. After more than a century of conflict, there is definitely a lot of nuance surrounding various truth claims, policies and solutions. Too often, however, the claim that “it’s complicated” functions as an excuse to sidestep a very simple reality: this is about the 70-year struggle of a people who have been expelled, murdered, robbed, imprisoned and occupied. While there’s certainly a need to engage the finer points of the conflict, we can never lose sight of this basic and very uncomplicated point.
4. Palestinians keep turning down fair deals.
This argument wrongly presumes that any deal that includes the sharing of stolen land with the victims of said theft could be fair. But even in relative and pragmatic terms, this is not true. Think back to the wildly disproportionate U.N. partition agreement of 1947 that allotted 55 percent of the land to the Jewish population even though there only comprised 33 percent of the population and owned 7 percent of the land. Or look to the 2008 negotiations between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that did not allow for a contiguous Palestinian territory nor a real resolution to the struggle over Jerusalem, Palestinians have never been offered a deal that allows for a truly independent, fertile, sufficient, and secure state.

5. Palestinians don’t want peace.
This argument plays on Orientalist narratives of Arabs as innately violent, irrational, pre-modern and undeserving of Western democracy or diplomacy. The argument also castigates Palestinians for resisting their brutal occupation and repression. Occupied people have a legal and moral right to defend themselves. To ask them not to resist is to ask them to die quietly. Palestinians want peace. But justice is always a precondition of peace.
6. Israel has a right to exist!
This claim is a product of U.S. and Israeli hasbara, a term for propaganda. First, this argument is only rhetorically deployed in relation to Israel, as opposed to Palestine or virtually any other nation-states. After all, no one routinely demands that Israel and its advocates declare Palestine’s “right to exist” as an abstract idea, physical space or independent nation. More importantly, however, the claim obscures a more fundamental truth: no country has a right to exist, only people do. By naturalizing the idea that nation-states have a “right to exist,” we undermine our ability to offer a moral critique of Israel’s (or any settler-colony’s) origin story.

No country has a right to exist, only people do.
If a country has a natural right to exist, there is less room to challenge the means by which that country obtains land, interacts with indigenous populations or engages in international and domestic law. After all, it had a right to exist, right? The “right to exist” argument also reified the nation-state, erasing its relatively new emergence as a political imaginary construct. In other words, the idea of nations and nationalism is relatively new. (This is why the whole “there was never a country called Palestine” argument is both ahistorical and dishonest). The argument also limits our ability to imagine the world on different terms and different political formations, including the reconstitution of historic Palestine (or contemporary Israel) as a single democracy for ALL citizens, regardless of race, class, gender or religion.
7. You’re anti-Semitic!
Anti-Semitism is a very real phenomenon around the globe. And we must be vigilant about addressing and destroying anti-Semitism wherever it emerges. Too often, however, this claim is leveled against anyone who critiques or protests the practices of the Israeli nation-state.
Under these conditions, allegations of anti-Semitism become nothing more than a reflexive retort, intended to shut down the conversation. More importantly, this is a key part of Zionist strategy: equating Judaism with Zionism and the Israeli state itself. Under this logic, to critique Israel is to critique Judaism. Such arguments also ignore the fact that the Jewish tradition is one that covets justice and fairness, and its principles are in fundamental opposition with the Israeli government’s actions.
Hopefully, we can move beyond these arguments and engage in deeper and more nuanced conversations about creating peace, justice and freedom in the region.

Marc Lamont Hill is the Steve Charles Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions at Temple University, a CNN political commentator and former host of HuffPost Live.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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“The problem with this country is with the politicians, not with the people,” exclaims Sultan Aziz Abu Hasan, a clerk sitting behind the desk at a small pharmacy.
“We need to get those thieves out,” says Fizza Ali, as a crowd listens attentively to the debate about democracy between the candidate and voters.”
This statement was made by a resident of Mosul to a candidate for office. This resonated with me since it reflects my thoughts about our own politicians especially now. The United States has undergone nearly two years of incompetent Federal Leadership all with the assistance of a Neer do well Congress lead by two of possibly the worst Congressional leaders in our history. The goal appears to be to attack the most vulnerable among us. All of the talk about jobs, deals that affect our allies and the egocentric executive actions area pushing us into the position of being nearly a third world situation. The worst part of this is our 2 Congressional leaders(?) have abdicated their duty to the country in favor of a Narcissus who happened to get elected. Each action by this Resident is aimed at campaign promises that do nothing for America as a whole but benefit small groups of people whose interest are solely their own. At this time the “Evangelical conservatives” are pushing for moral authority over us all by supporting the selection of “conservative” judges in high courts which will shift the courts to the right for years (do we want a bunch of “ROY MOORE’S on the bench?). Every action of this administration will push us back as country to a time where it was OK to kill anyone with an accent or a different skin color. The long range effect of this administration will surely create rifts among us which is exactly what this administration thrives on along with the daily diets of  misinformation and outright lies streaming on twitter, backed up by the talking heads of the administration.

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MAY 16, 2018
Kuttner on TAP
Trump’s Selling Out His Country for Personal Gain Continues. When the news broke that President Donald Trump was chiding the Commerce Department for sanctioning a Chinese tech company, ZTE, everything about the move was puzzling. ZTE epitomized why the Trump administration was taking a harder line against Beijing.
ZTE sold products containing U.S. products to Korea and Iran, and then tried to cover it up. The FCC has refused to prohibit U.S. carriers from buying equipment made by ZTE for fear of hidden “back doors” that could spy or introduce malware.
Yet Trump suddenly undercut his cabinet department last week with a mysterious tweet:
President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!
Why on earth would Trump undermine his government’s own policy? One likely explanation soon became clear. On Tuesday, The National Review reported:
The Chinese government is extending a $500 million loan to a state-owned construction company to build an Indonesian theme park that will feature a Trump-branded golf course and hotels.
A subsidiary of Chinese state-owned construction firm Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) signed a deal last week with the Indonesian firm MNC Land to build an “integrated lifestyle resort,” as part of Beijing’s global influence-expanding “Belt and Road” infrastructure initiative.
The project will include a number of Trump-branded hotels, a golf course, and a residence. While the $500 million loan will not be directly allocated to any of the Trump-branded features, Beijing’s contribution of half the project’s total operating budget ensures the success of the broader theme-park venture.
This is not an explicit quid pro quo, of course, but Trump’s habits of subordinating the national interest to the profits of his family businesses continue. First Russia, now China. There’s a simple word for these habits: treason. ~ ROBERT KUTTNER

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Meyerson on TAP
A new report out from the National Center for Education Statistics—one branch of the Department of Education that Betsy DeVos hasn’t gotten around to dismantling yet—finds that 94 percent of schoolteachers spend their own money buying supplies for their classrooms and students. On average, the teachers spend $479 a year.
(Having accompanied my daughter on several occasions to a Staples outlet during her years of teaching in inner-city Brooklyn, I can personally attest to the study’s findings that teachers—and on occasion, teachers’ parents—buy such basics as paper and pens when their schools run short.)
Rather than adequately funding public schools, our federal and some state governments have allowed teachers to take tax deductions, up to $250 annually, for their out-of-pocket school expenses. In their budget-balancing zeal (joke), Republicans initially proposed to eliminate that deduction in their tax bill, but were compelled to drop that proposal. Now, House Democrats have introduced a bill that would raise the allowable deduction to $500—not that the bill is going anywhere so long as Republicans control the government.
It makes you wonder if teacher colleges offer a course in school-supply shopping. ~ HAROLD MEYERSON

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Bob Bryan 6 hrs ago

© Provided by Business Insider
Over 1,100 leading economists sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging the president to reverse course on recent trade tactics — lest the US repeat one of the biggest mistakes of the Great Depression.

The letter, organized by the conservative-leaning National Taxpayers Union, warned that recent tariffs and trade protectionism were harmful to the US economy. The economists cited a 1930 letter that warned Congress against passing the Smoot-Hawley Act, a large package of tariffs that many studies cite as a major reason for the depth of the Great Depression.
“Congress did not take economists’ advice in 1930, and Americans across the country paid the price,” the letter says. “The undersigned economists and teachers of economics strongly urge you not to repeat that mistake. Much has changed since 1930 — for example, trade is now significantly more important to our economy — but the fundamental economic principles as explained at the time have not.”
The Smoot-Hawley tariffs, much like Trump’s measures, were designed as protection for US industries. But they ended up making the situation worse.
Included on the new letter are 14 Nobel laureates and economists from across the political spectrum, including former chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers under Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
The letter also quotes the warnings from the 1930 letter, which warns that tariffs raise prices on consumers, damage industries that rely on trade director or indirectly, hurt the fortunes of American farmers, and lead to retaliatory measures from other countries.
The 1930 letter also painted the tariffs as a threat to national security.
“Finally, we would urge our Government to consider the bitterness which a policy of higher tariffs would inevitably inject into our international relations,” the 80-year-old letter read. “A tariff war does not furnish good soil for the growth of world peace.”

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MAY 1, 2018
Meyerson on TAP
Angela Merkel has come and gone, her visit to the White House late last week a veritable blip between the rapturous welcome given Emmanuel Macron and the uneasy chortles accorded Michelle Wolf. President Trump seems somewhat confounded by the challenge that Merkel’s Germany presents: an ally, but also a nag insisting that the U.S. adhere to the Iran agreement (as did Macron’s France, but Macron talks Trump’s language, as they share a common ideology: narcissism). A nation with which we run a trade deficit, but we can’t ask them to revalue their currency, since they use the euro. A major manufacturer of high-end steel, though little of it ends up here, and even if it did, it doesn’t undercut the U.S. steel industry, as its workers’ pay ranges from comparable to higher than ours’, and the same is true for the price of its steel.
So Trump has postponed unveiling his list of nations against whose steel he’ll impose tariffs. The grand Trumpian gesture would be to include everybody, but by firing that blunderbuss, he’d penalize both the trade-law miscreants and the trade-law compliers (not that distinctions such as these have deterred Trump up to now). The United Steelworkers have made clear that the point of the tariffs shouldn’t be to penalize producers like Canada, which don’t undercut U.S. steelmakers, but those nations that provide state subsidies to their producers so they can underprice us.
If Trump (for that matter, if the American economic establishment) wished to ferret out the real culprits behind our massive trade deficit, they’d look first and foremost to Wall Street. It was the rising power of American finance and its shareholder-über-alles ideology that propelled our manufacturing sector to move offshore in search of cheaper labor and higher profits. There are many reasons why Germany has retained its manufacturing sector while we have not, but chief among them is the fact that Germany has no equivalent of Wall Street or London’s “the City.” But for Deutsche Bank, Germany lacks a global investment titan, and its far stronger community-banking sector is committed, by virtue of its control by local stakeholders rather than distant shareholders, to bolstering domestic manufacturing. Germany has problems of its own, but a financial sector committed to undermining the nation’s economy isn’t one of them. It’s only one of ours. ~ HAROLD MEYERSON

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Associated Press

4/10/2018

Fact-checking President Trump’s ‘Fake News awards’

© The Associated Press President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, April 10, 2018, in Washington.
WASHINGTON — The FBI raid on the office and hotel room of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer provoked visceral rage from the president and a burst of misstatements. Here’s a look at his remarks:
TRUMP: “So I just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys, a good man, and it’s a disgraceful situation.” — Comments at a meeting with military advisers Monday.
THE FACTS: It was not a break-in. The FBI executed a search warrant obtained from a judge in conducting the raid and seizing records on a variety of matters, among them a $130,000 payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels by Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen. The application for the warrant was approved high in the Justice Department.
___

TRUMP: “They found no collusion whatsoever with Russia.” — referring to the Mueller investigation.
THE FACTS: There has been no such finding. It’s true that evidence of collusion has not emerged to date in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russian figures. But the investigation continues and Mueller does not disclose what his probe has found except when filing charges. Although Trump focused his fury on the Mueller probe, Monday’s raid was overseen by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan, not the special counsel. Cohen’s lawyer, Stephen Ryan, said the raid was based in part on a referral from Mueller, however.
___
TRUMP: “Again, they found nothing. And in finding nothing, that’s a big statement.” — Referring to the Mueller investigation.
THE FACTS: They found something.
So far, four Trump associates have been charged in Mueller’s investigation, of whom three have pleaded guilty to lying to the authorities. Among them are Michael Flynn, former White House national security adviser, and Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide. Overall, 19 people, including 13 Russians, have been charged.
Mueller is known to consider Trump a subject of his criminal investigation at this point. Being a subject in an investigation — instead of a target— suggests Mueller may not be currently preparing a criminal prosecution of the president but considers him more pivotal than a mere witness would be.
To get a warrant, agents and prosecutors must establish for a judge that there’s probable cause of criminal activity and that a search of a property is likely to turn up evidence of that.
___
TRUMP: “The stock market dropped a lot today as soon as they heard the noise of, you know, this nonsense that’s going on. It dropped a lot. It was up — way up — and then it dropped quite a bit at the end, a lot.” — Comments from the Monday meeting, after markets closed.
THE FACTS: His read on the market appears to overstate the impact the raid had on stocks. And while the market did give up most of the gains it had made earlier in the day, at the close it was up marginally from a day earlier.
The trade dispute with China has been primarily driving market developments in recent days.
On Monday, the Dow was up 440 points at about 2 p.m., after the president suggested the two countries could resolve their dispute, then started falling off. The market got worse when news of the raid was reported later in the afternoon, as investors fretted about the prospects for a constitutional crisis, but most of the damage preceded that development. It ended the day up 46 points.
On Tuesday, more news about the raid jolted the market, the Dow gave up a big chunk of its morning gains, but those losses were restored over the next hour. That’s been a pattern with recent political developments — short-term ups and downs that take second place to overarching questions about economic growth and corporate earnings.
___
Associated Press writers Josh Boak and Christopher Rugaber in Washington and Marley Jay in New York contributed to this report.
___
Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd
Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck

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Matt Bai 1 hour 28 minutes ago

So here we have another typical week in the capital: President Trump humiliated his own United Nations secretary, Nikki Haley, who announced to the world that the administration was handing down new sanctions against the Russians without realizing that Trump had decided not to do that, because by now it’s clear that he’s way more protective of Moscow than he is of anyone in his administration.
(A little free advice for the president: If you’re going to undermine a member of your Cabinet, maybe choose Pruitt or DeVos, or someone else who wouldn’t completely dismantle you in a Republican primary if she woke up one morning and thought to herself, “Ah, what the hell.”)
But let’s leave the daily drama of Trump’s Washington there for now, and let’s talk instead about the much larger question of how we got here and where we’re headed.
As you may have seen, my colleague Jon Ward, who’s one of the best political reporters anywhere, published a thoughtful and provocative mini-treatise this week about the decline of parties over the last half century or so.
I know how it feels to have your complex ideas distilled down to CliffsNotes, so I hope you’ll read Jon’s piece for yourself rather than rely on my summation, but essentially the argument goes like this: Reforms that were meant to transfer power away from party establishments to individual voters, beginning in the 1960s, have had the perverse effect, over time, of obliterating a crucial buffer between the voters and all manner of extremists or charlatans.
With weaker parties comes not the idealized form of democratic participation that reformers had envisioned, but rather a riotous process that allows someone like Donald Trump to pretty much walk in and take over the entire operation with a plurality of reactionary supporters.
To be clear, I don’t think Jon is suggesting we return to the days when a handful of party bosses could effectively choose or veto the nominees. He’s saying that the system has tipped too far now in the other direction, and that the only way to save our political system is to rediscover a balance that gives party elites more control — something more along the lines of the superdelegate system Democrats instituted in the 1980s.
(Jon’s also launched a fun podcast around this subject, which I’ll take a moment here to plug.)
It’s hard to argue with the diagnosis here. The system for selecting candidates we have now is too easily overwhelmed by passionate minorities and digitized mobs, and I’m betting that Democrats who felt smug about the implosion of Republicans in 2016 are about to find out just how perilously unruly the process can get for them, too.

But when it comes to the remedy, I arrive at a slightly different, and maybe more optimistic, place.
For one thing, I’ve never been a fan of political parties, generally. As party structures have grown weaker over the course of my lifetime, and as more of us have chosen to remain unaffiliated, the parties themselves have become increasingly dogmatic, homogeneous and intolerant of dissent. Most often, they reflect the impulses of their most cloistered constituents.
I can’t imagine that giving those party establishments more control over our politics would actually have any kind of moderating or ennobling influence, even if we could.
More to the point, we can’t, or at least not without a well-equipped DeLorean. Parties haven’t lost their influence because we changed the rules; we changed the rules because big institutions everywhere were beginning to lose their influence.
That’s not a trend we can just decide to reverse. It is, as I’ve written often over the past two decades, the central reality of our time.
Americans aren’t going to cede more power over their public affairs to politicians and local chairmen, any more than they’re going to trust priests or bankers or paid endorsers to decide what’s good for them. The more sway you give party leaders over the process, the more of an uprising you’ll see.
So what are we supposed to do? Are we destined to watch our nominating system devolve into a quadrennial reality show for demagogues?
Not necessarily.
From the time I started writing about politics, I’ve been fascinated, and often inspired, by growing ripples of independence in the two-party fabric. I’ll never forget watching Jesse Ventura, the former wrestler and newly installed governor of Minnesota, stride through the capitol in St. Paul in 1999, while crowds of visitors (and more than a few bureaucrats) spontaneously applauded.
They were cheering for themselves as much as for Ventura, who talked in those days of “doing the people’s business with joy in our hearts.” They were cheering the idea that the status quo was theirs to change.
Ventura turned out to be an imperfect vehicle for that change (although he built a solid and truly bipartisan administration). But I remember thinking: This is how politics ought to make people feel. This is how reform happens.
The Trump phenomenon has certainly tested my faith in this ideal. Here’s a successful outsider who took over a national party and overturned the order. But the nature of his reform isn’t uplifting or modernizing; it’s dark and relentlessly nostalgic. It’s theater masquerading as service.

It would be a mistake, though, to then assume that this is what political disruption has to look like, that we’re better off walling off the system from outsiders and stationing the two moribund parties at the gate. For every Trump, there’s an Arnold Schwarzenegger or a Mike Bloomberg out there too, waiting to test a more thoughtful and inclusive governing vision.
I don’t know who that is right now. Maybe the Rock reads history. Maybe James Comey is entertaining ideas. Maybe the pilot who landed that Southwest plane has loftier ambitions. (After hearing the audio, I’d vote for her.)
The point is that it’ll be a long time before we see another presidential field populated solely by career politicians. But that’s not something we should necessarily fear. That doesn’t mean that only hucksters and populists will apply.
Whether the challenge comes from within a major party or without, I still believe that an unconventional campaign — a candidate respectful of governing expertise, but determined to rethink how we use it — can be the thing that restores our faith in public life.
We should encourage candidacies like that, rather than try to make them less viable. And as journalists, we should subject them to serious scrutiny.
Perhaps, many decades from now, historians will talk about Trump’s election as a necessary, transitional moment, when party structures were fast being eclipsed by personal narrative, but before we’d figured out as a nation how to discern between genuine reformers and crass opportunists.
From here on out, presidents won’t always be establishment-approved, whether we like it or not.
But they won’t all be charlatans, either.

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Explain to me how can a program work when it is restricted as the Current administration has restricted the ACA (aka Obamacare). This program which benefitted many more people than the GOP wants you to believe has been under attack since it’s inception. The current administration has derided it as a failure but not telling the whole truth. Campaign rhetoric and promises that harm the public are as criminal as bodily harm. The administration will point to this decrease as a victory but ask the people who are affected by the loss or decrease of health care. If you are affected by these changes then you need to step up and engage in getting people elected who will do what good for you. MA.
Reuters 15 hours ago

CMS’s Verma says 11.8 million signed up for 2018 Obamacare exchange plans
(Reuters) – About 11.8 million consumers nationwide enrolled in 2018 Obamacare exchange plans, a 3 percent drop from last year when 12.2 million consumers signed up, according to a final government tally released on Tuesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The tally includes both sign-ups on the exchange run by the federal government for 39 states, which was released on a provisional basis late in 2017, and on the 12 other exchanges run by Washington, D.C. and the remaining states.
CMS said the average premium before tax credits in 2018 is $621 a month, an increase of more than 30 percent from last year.
However, those receiving tax credits – around 83 percent of consumers on Obamacare – will pay around $89 a month on average in premiums, the agency said. That is down 16 percent from $106 a month last year.
Private insurers sell strictly regulated individual insurance plans through the Obamacare online exchanges that the government subsidizes based on a person’s income.
U.S. President Donald Trump in October cut off billions of dollars in subsidy payments to insurers that help people pay for medical costs, causing insurers to raise 2018 premiums or drop out of selling plans in the Obamacare marketplace.
His administration also halved the enrollment period to six weeks and cut the federal advertising and outreach budget by 90 percent. It also has proposed putting cheaper insurance policies offering bare-bones medical coverage on the Obamacare market in 2019 or 2020.


President Donald Trump pitched his steel tariffs as a way to save U.S. steel jobs, saying it was a move designed to urge “all companies to buy American.”
However, some small businesses, like LOOK Trailers in Indiana, are feeling the heat from Trump’s trade move.

“LOOK’s president, Matt Arnold, said the company has seen steel prices increase 25 percent and aluminum as high as 35 percent. He told CNBC that he’s afraid his suppliers’ prices have even further to run in the months ahead.
Although the company already uses 75 percent U.S. steel and aluminum, now its competitors are also moving from foreign to domestic steel. That’s driving up the demand for steel producers domestically and adding costs to businesses’ bottom lines.
Arnold said that the company has managed to honor fixed prices on committed orders, but that means they’ve been “getting hit and absorbing price increases and then pricing out three months.”
He said the net effect has been the same on the whole industry in this area.
“Whether you’re public or private the hit has been to your bottom line,” Arnold said.
Trump has said he hopes shuttered steel mills will reopen and add new life into the American steel industry. But that process could take more than year, if not longer, leaving some businesses without enough U.S.-made steel and aluminum.
Arnold said another factor affecting his business is rising wages because of a tightening labor market.
“It’s a battle every day. It’s how to get more out per man hour. While battling rising wages, competitive workforce, and now you add the third one, which is rising raw materials. You have to be right today. There’s no margin for error,” he said.
The average cost of a trailer from LOOK is about $3500, which is already a 9 percent jump from 2017.
The last time the U.S. slapped major tariffs on steel imports, under President George W. Bush in 2002, companies like LOOK Trailers experienced a 10 to 15 percent hike in prices and a drop in sales. Businesses are hoping this time will be different.”

CNBC News , 3/29/2018

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