Readers React: You don’t win trade wars with tariffs. You win by funding education and innovation

Coils are stored on trains in front of the ThyssenKrupp steel mill in Duisburg, Germany, on March 5.
(Lukas Schulze / Getty Images)

To the editor: The best way to compete in a trade war over steel and aluminum is to offer the best cuts at the lowest price. (“The best way to win a trade war is to not start one,” editorial, March 2)

The best way to kill in a trade war is to innovate products for which there is an inherent demand and be the first to market, to capture the market, and dominate it alone for several years. You don’t do that by inflicting tariffs.

You do that by making college attainable and low-cost, so that entrepreneurs are free to pursue their genuine skills and interests rather than being saddled by debt that forces them into mind- numbing jobs. You do that by keeping loans for entrepreneurs at low interest rates.

You do that by electing a president who understands such nuances.


John Hankey, Los Angeles


To the editor: Why don’t you mention the 2017 U.S. trade deficit of greater than $550 billion, of which about $375 billion was with China?

We trade with countries that call themselves democracies but really aren’t. We trade with autocratic communist nations like China. Some of our trading partners flout their own laws on child labor, workers rights, compensation and building codes. The playing field is nowhere near level.

President Trump is right (as was H. Ross Perot in the 1990s) when he says that everybody dumps on us. China is the world’s second great power thanks to American consumers, and it has the most to lose in a trade war with the United States.

If China and other countries will not reduce their trade imbalances with the United States, we’ll do it for them.

Vince Vespe, Agoura Hills


To the editor: Trump complains that for years China has dumped low-priced steel on U.S markets, undercutting domestic manufacturers.

This did not seem to bother him when he used Chinese steel for his own buildings instead of buying American.

Lorraine Knopf, Santa Monica

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