His argument that downstream tariffs should be approved every time upstream tariffs are approved is weak, both economically and ethically. But such a scheme would also undermine the supposed goal of the Trump Administration to “drain the swamp.” Opening up the possibility of protections for downstream industries will increase the lobbying by said industries to get protections.
Furthermore, we run into an issue of who, exactly, are “downstream” industries? Economics teaches us there are countless unseen connections we may be unaware of. For example, let’s say a tariff on steel and washing machines causes people to buy fewer washing machines: people use more laundromats. In turn, they now refloor the old laundry room with hardwood rather than tile. Tile manufacturers would be injured here. Would they be eligible for protections? They’d certainly try. And subsequently, the hardwood flooring manufacturers would lobby. As would, then, the distributors, the loggers, the facemask and chainsaw manufacturers, etc etc. There is no logical stopping point here.
Rather than drain the swamp, this scheme would vastly increase it.