retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Content Guy’s Note: Stories in this section are, in my estimation, important and relevant to business. However, they are relegated to this slot because some MNB readers have made clear that they prefer a politics-free MNB; I can't do that because sometimes the news calls out for coverage and commentary, but at least I can make it easy for folks to skip it if they so desire.

• The Wall Street Journal has a story this morning about how a number of business segments - “from California apple growers to Maine lobstermen” - are forging an alliance that they hope will persuade the Trump administration that tariffs are a bad idea.

According to the story, “On Wednesday, organizations representing thousands of companies in industries including retailing, toy manufacturing, farming and technology plan to announce they are cooperating on a lobbying campaign called Tariffs Hurt the Heartland to oppose tariffs on imports.

“It is the latest sign that businesses are ratcheting up lobbying against tariffs that the Trump administration has imposed, or is considering, as Mr. Trump says he will defend American manufacturing jobs.”

The Journal notes that “not all industry groups oppose Mr. Trump’s tariffs. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, which represents U.S. ranchers and beef producers, backs the president’s tough trade stance … And some industries benefit from import duties. Domestic steel companies support Mr. Trump’s tariffs on foreign steel, which have boosted prices and profits.

“But most trade-focused lobbying this year has been against tariffs. When the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative took testimony on proposed tariffs in August, a majority of the industry representatives who participated said tariffs would hurt their businesses.”
KC's View:
Good luck.

It does not strike me as partisan in any way to suggest that the Trump administration seems completely dug in on the advantages of tariffs. The question - and this is way over my pay grade - is whether what the administration really is digging is a grave that will hurt the economy in the long term.