Underestimating the President and more trade war targets…sometimes you just have to shake your head.
Underestimating President Trump
A Wall Street Journal report last week said that when the President went to Japan he asked to have the USS John McCain moved so he wouldn’t have to look at it. The USS McCain is a US Navy warship that is stationed in Japan and is currently undergoing repairs. The ship is, of course, named after the former naval officer and US Senator who often disagreed with the President, drawing the usual public insults when he did. McCain passed away a few months ago from a brain tumor.
The Administration denied the claim, but the Defense Department ordered a review. Over the weekend, the US Navy confirmed that they did, in fact, get a request to move the ship out of sight during Trump’s visit but refused to move the ship solely for that reason.
Just when you thought that President Trump couldn’t be any more petty, we find that we continually and dramatically underestimate his abilities in that area.
More Countries Subject to Increased Tariffs
On Friday, President Trump announced that he was going to impose trade tariffs on Mexico until they did more to stop immigrants coming to the US. The tariffs would start at 5% in June and would go up every month after that.
The Administration also announced that they were increasing tariffs on India. And news reports said that the President had also considered raising tariffs on Australia but was talked out of it by his staff.
Trade tariffs can be helpful instruments of foreign policy, and tools to punish such countries as Russia and North Korea. However, it seems that President Trump is a bit compulsive. The list of countries that Trump has increased tariffs on since coming to office include Iran, North Korea, Russia, China, India, Mexico, countries of the European Union, Pacific Rim countries and the list goes on.
Trade wars rarely benefit the country. For some benefit to industries, consumers get increased prices and other industries suffer then the other countries retaliate. The Federal government has already allocated $28 Billion to give to farmers. The costs to other parts of the economy can presumed to be high, as well, and the cost to consumers can only be guessed at across all the things taxed (which is all a ‘tariff’ really is—a tax).
We can only imagine what the impact on the economy is to the widespread use of tariffs that has been pursued by President Trump.