That’s the internationaal trade news from Trump today. Emphasis on today.
Before unpacking the almost daily zig-zag of Trump trade policy, some context from the June issue of Reason (“Free Minds and Free Markets”) magazine:
In her succinct, eviscerating commentary, “Tariffs are Self-Imposed Sanctions” Managing Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward pulls no punches:
American reactions range from wonderment to outrage to thissuspicion of Trump personal gain (think emoluments):
“Trump Orders Help For Chinese Phone-Maker After China Approves Money For Trump Project” –
“A mere 72 hours after the Chinese government agreed to put a half-billion dollars into an Indonesian project that will personally enrich Donald Trump, the president ordered a bailout for a Chinese-government-owned cellphone maker [under U.S sanctions].”
Giving the president every benefit of every doubt, “Oh, the optics!”
Of course, this is just the latest contortion in Trump trade policy.
Earlier recent analysis, on the broad issues of that policy:
Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb): “Were on the verge of a painful and stupid trade war and that’s bad.”
The Economist : “Donald Trump alienates farmers” (subhead: A pig’s ear of a policy’) – “‘Everyone in pork production is more anxious than they have been for 20 years’ says Jimmy Tosh, a pig famer from north-western Tennessee … trade is the farmers’ biggest worry.”
New York Times: ” Tariffs spur pleas for relief and snarl production at U.S. companies” – “In the two months since the Trump Administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs went into effect, the Commerce Department has been deluged with more than 8,200 exemption requests from companies that import foreign metals.”
Only six months until November.