Free Forum: Trade Wars

trade wars logo 450x250Workers and Jobs Caught in the Crossfire

A conversation with
Ph.D. Political Economy | Author | Analyst
Economics and Politics, St. Mary’s College

Wednesday, January 16, 7:00pm
Midpen Media Center, 900 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto
Free and open to all | Wheelchair accessible | Map
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“These tariffs will increase the tax burden on Americans, falling hardest on lower and middle-income households, and reduce economic output, employment, and wages.”
Erica York, an analyst at the Tax Foundation, a conservative leaning think tank

Although Donald “Tariff Man” Trump’s trade war with China is somewhat on hold while the two sides return to the negotiating table, it is clear that economists from left to right fear the repercussions of the international trade dispute and, in particular, Trump’s imposition of massive tariffs on goods arriving from China. And most of them think the fallout won’t really be felt until sometime in 2019.

Trump’s vow to raise tariff’s on Chinese exports even more in 2019 could see severe economic dislocation in the US — and middle- and working-class Americans will be the ones to pay the price. A recent analysis from the Tax Foundation, a right-leaning think tank, demonstrated a decline in GDP of some $94 billion and a loss of nearly 300,000 jobs.

“Never did I think when Trump campaigned on ‘Make America Great Again’ we’d have to lay off all these people.” ~Chris Pratt, plant manager at Mid-Continent Nail, the largest nail manufacturer in the U.S. (“The Small Town Cost of Donald Trump’s Trade War”, The New Yorker)

And then there’s the “New NAFTA”. While not a lot has been changed in the three country accord — it still favors corporations over workers and the environment — there were some notable changes that were made, and some notable changes that were not made. As Public Citizen’s Lori Wallach put it, “the NAFTA 2.0 text signed on November 30 revealed improvements for which progressives have long campaigned, the addition of damaging terms that we oppose, and critical unfinished business.” Since Congress will have to approve the new NAFTA terms, now is a critical time for all of us to get up to speed on what’s in the agreement.

jackDr. Jack Rasmus, Ph.D Political Economy, teaches economics and politics at St. Mary’s College in California. He is the author of numerous books on economics and politics. Jack is also the host of the weekly radio show, Alternative Visions, on the Progressive Radio Network, and a journalist writing on economic, political and labor issues for various magazines, including ‘Z‘ magazine, ‘Against the Current‘, ‘In These Times‘ and others.

Before his current roles as author, journalist and radio host, Jack was an economist and market analyst for several global companies and, for more than a decade, a local union president, vice-president, contract negotiator, and organizer for several labor unions, including the UAW, CWA, SEIU, and HERE.

Jack’s website is where his published articles, radio and TV interviews, plays and book reviews are available for download. He blogs at, where weekly commentaries on US and global economic matters are available. His twitter handle is @drjackrasmus.