THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Zero Tariffs? There’s a Precedent



Bruce Aitken

July 24, 2018 | By Bill Lane —

If President Trump is serious about using current tensions to usher in an era of free, fair and reciprocal trade, there is an approach that has worked. It won’t excite the president’s political base or dominate the news cycle, but the strategy has the potential to calm markets, encourage economic growth and create a lasting legacy.

On April 7, 1988, Caterpillar CEO George Schaefer made a simple, straightforward proposal in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Clayton Yeutter. He set the stage by pointing out that “tariffs on Caterpillar-type products are generally 2 to 2.5 percent in the United States . . . 4 to 10 percent in other developed countries . . . and, over 15 percent in most developing countries.”

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