I’m not sure if you’re aware of this or not, but Donald Trump’s trade war is not getting the best reviews.
The entire world is aghast at Trump’s efforts to rollback decades of globalization on the way to taking US protectionism up to levels last seen in the mid- 1970s.
Let me just reiterate: Outside of Peter Navarro and Wilbur Ross, you’d be (extremely) hard pressed to find anyone with anything good to say about Trump’s protectionist policies.
Here’s a list of countries, companies, associations and people who have variously voiced concerns about Trump’s tariffs:
- South Korea
- General Motors
- The American Soybean Association
- Every major bank on Wall Street
- The Juice Products Association
- The US Apple Association
- The US Dairy Export Council
- Jamie Dimon, CEO, JPMorgan Chase
- Bill Beam, third generation Pennsylvania farmer
That list is by no means exhaustive.
But one person who thinks Trump’s tariffs are “the greatest” is, unsurprisingly, Trump. Here’s what the President said on Tuesday morning as he prepares to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker this week in Washington:
Tariffs are the greatest! Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs. It’s as simple as that – and everybody’s talking! Remember, we are the “piggy bank” that’s being robbed. All will be Great!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2018
Dear, America: In case it isn’t clear enough yet, “it” is not “as simple as that.”
Just ask Ken Maschhoff, chairman of Maschhoff Family Foods and co-owner of the nation’s largest family-owned pork producer, who told CNBC the following earlier this month with respect to the impact retaliatory tariffs from China are likely to have on his business:
We put a halt on all investment, not just because we will be losing money, but because we don’t know if growing in the U.S. is the right move if we won’t be an exporting country.
[The farm industry has been] asked to be good patriots. We have been. But I don’t want to be the patriot who dies at the end of the war. If we go out of business, it’s tough to look at my kids and the 550 farm families that look us into the eye and our 1,400 employees.
And if you don’t believe Ken, ask South Dakota soybean farmer Kevin Scott (a Trump voter, by the way) who told the New York Times the following about trade:
I would like to tell the president, ‘Man, you are messing up our market,’. [Changing Nafta] gives us a lot of heartburn in farm country [and] if we lose those Chinese and Mexican markets, it will be hard to get them back.
I guess Ken and Kevin are spending too much time farming and not enough time paying attention to Trump’s Twitter feed, because if they were wasting time on social media like the President, they’d know that “tariffs are the greatest!”
It might be time for Ken and Kevin to think about getting on board with candidates that back the kind of policies advocated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, because they’re going to need those social safety nets after Donald Trump’s “greatest tariffs!” put America’s farmers clean out of business – just like “Trump Steaks” and “Trump U.”