Is Tariffs Harmful or Useful?
Tariffs became a hot topic with the development of the trade war between China
and the United States. However, it has long been an important part of the world
economy. It can protect the domestic economy; it can control the import of potentially
dangerous goods; it can sanction or keep friendly with other countries; it can be a
‘weapon’ that can fix trade surplus, but it will make a trade war sometimes. Tariffs are
like a double-edged sword. It can be favorable or unfavorable for the economy of a
country even many countries. That is why many people discuss tariffs and express
The article, “What Is A Tariff, Who Pays, And What Is The Purpose Of A
Tariff?”, by Jed Graham who wants through this article to tell readers what is tariffs,
and explains the dangers of the trade war. The author uses logos to make readers
believe their opinion, rather than tell this directly. First, the author stated tariffs have
strong political influence. It can control goods imported, reducing trade barriers and
prove revenue to the government. The author uses an example, Mercedes-Benz builds
a factory in America in order to avoid high tariffs, help readers understand the
purpose of tariffs better. Then, author through example “A 10% tariff on a bike with a
wholesale cost of $60 would add $6 to Walmart's cost of importing that bike.” to
explain tariffs are harmful if using trade barriers. Trade barriers will lead to higher
prices or fewer benefits. The company will not allow their wallets to get ‘thinner’.
Thus, huge amounts of tariffs paid by domestic residents. Finally, the author uses a
hot topic, the trade war between the USA and China, as an example to show one
country improve tariffs and another country fight back will bring huge effect to both
sides and a lot of companies like Apple, Nike and Huawei. This article has high ethos.
On the one hand, examples used in this article have a high reputation. This struck a
chord with readers. On another hand, the author uses the definition of tariffs to help
readers not only read this article, but making their own thoughts. Why the definition
of tariffs will make readers thinking? Let me give you a simple example. If somebody
tells you 1 plus 1 is 2, then you can think about what is an answer of 2 plus 1.
However, if you don’t know 1 plus 1, you only can wait for an answer of 2 plus 1.
That is why, this article will make people care about tariffs, and think about it.
Because of its high ethos and logos, this article has become successful and
Brent Radcliffe has a different idea with Jed Graham. Brent Radcliffe believes
that tariffs have their advantages. The author believes that ‘tariffs not only protect
infant industries and developing economies but also used by more advanced
economies with developed industries’, and point out what could tariffs do. Tariffs can
protect domestic employment. Author use logos way to prove tariffs will make the
local company have an advantage in the price. Thus, the local company will hire
employees. Foreign companies will invest, because low tariffs make their profits. The
author uses an example if South Korea thinks beef from the USA could be with a
disease, they can add tariffs on it to prove tariffs could protect consumers. National
security is a matter of concern to citizens of a country. Through the way of pathos, the
author will attract the attention of many readers. Then, they explain traffic could
protect defense-oriented companies. The author arranges his ideas one by one. It is
simple, but easy for readers to understand.
Both Brent Radcliffe and Jed Graham are very good at using what people care
about to catch readers’ ‘eye’. Jed uses trade war and Brent uses national security.
They also have lots of differences. Jed likes to use examples from daily life to prove
their idea and help readers understand. This made me interested in his article, because
I not only can learn knowledge about the disadvantage of tariffs, but also can know
the history and what happened around us. Brent likes to use logic or gave short
examples that he creates rather than from life. It’s hard for me to attend and
understand their opinions. From the article of these two authors, I have learned tariffs
like a double-edged sword, but it is an indispensable part of today’s economy. We
should understand, use, and judge it through both advantages and disadvantages.