Lessons From an ’80s Trade War

By Anonymous

An extra two grand for a Harley Hog because of steel tariffs? We can’t be wimps in the world of trade, but tariff wars are never good. I would know: I was in the middle of one. In the mid-1980s, when Donald Trump was in casino mode and hosting prizefights, the Japanese were knocking out U.S. memory-chip makers. Hitachiinstructed salesmen to “quote 10% below their price. If they requote, go 10% again. Don’t quit until you win.” The company later claimed it was never official policy, but the Japanese controlled 90% of the market for some crucial chips. Something had to be done, right? Well, no. Bear with me.