The tariffs are risky and they go against the conventional thinking. Time will tell whether or not they work.
But I'm with you, it's way overdue that we stand up to our trading partners and stop letting them give us a raw deal.
Trump is coming across like Bob Hope's brother, No Hope. Even you admit there is significant risk in pursuing this not only unconventional but arguably ill-advised policies.
Heck, even if it works for three or four industries, there is nothing that guarantees these policies won't be disastrous for other industries.
For example, you do know that the bulk of the world's antibiotics are manufactured in China- something like 95 percent of the world supply of penicillin - not US supply - but world supply is sourced from China. The administration says that folks in the medical industry will just source the drug from Germany or another country ... which would buy it from China and then add their profit on top of the price, pocket that profit and still sell below the tariff-increased price.
Of course the other thing about tariffs is they are taxes and guess who gets to pay these taxes? Really, GD, answer that question. Who pays tariffs we impose on imported goods?
BTW: Cohen, Trump's economic advisor before he left the administration, said Trump is stupid because he doesn't realize that the US, as the country whose currency is the medium of trade = the world's reserve currency - gives us the advantage because the trade deficits we incur are actually 'big piles' of greenbacks in foreign treasuries. That means we're trading pieces of paper for South Korean cars not made in the US (KIA builds here) ... same for Mercedes-Benz, Toyotas, Nissans, BMW's etc. - at least the one's made there, not here.
The thing that bothers me most, though is the distortions in the market caused by tariff's. Sure we have plenty of dirty coal but oth er t han keeping old, obsolete coal plants running to generate electricity, what Trump's tariff's have done to the solar PV market is rather remarkably, just slowing the dramatic growth in PV solar generation. (The life-system cost solar are currently still lower per KWh for PV than the long term cost at present values for coal, gas or nuclear and while nuclear doesn't have the externalized costs of coal or natural gas, the energy costs associated with those fuel sources don't include the additional costs of climate change.)
Of course you would like a world where the only source of power for electricity come from carbon emitting coal, oil, gas because, well, you want to truck up the environment so much it ends up killing a few billion people.
Bottom line, all I'm seeing is an effort to maximize chaos and disruption whether in markets through tariffs or in international relations through the trashing of established agreements and treaties.
Humpty Dumpty, sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall and all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
What trump is doing to the institutions of the United States is creating chaos and disruption and anyone with a conservative core would suspect if he breaks it, he has no possible way to put it back together again ... and being the dick he is, he's trying his best to break it. He has said so.