Trade tantrum for dummies

Trade tantrum for dummies

by digby

Ted Lieu:

“It does not help the American worker when the president throws a temper tantrum at one of our closest allies,” Lieu replied. “It’s particularly odd to go after Canada for three reasons. Number one, the U.S. has an $8.4 billion trade surplus with Canada. Number two: Canada has lower average tariffs than the United States. And number three, American steel companies and steelworkers oppose these tariffs on Canadian steel, so the very industry that the Trump administration is trying to help opposes these tariffs. None of this makes any sense.”

“Is there any part of this that is justifiable?” Witt pressed. “The president himself keeps reiterating it’s about farmers — specifically dairy farmers. Is that at least where there is legitimate concern for trade imbalance between the two countries?”

“That’s actually not the reason that the United States, according to the Trump administration, imposed the steel tariffs on Canada,” he replied. “And if I were a steelworker, I’d be quite offended that Donald Trump is trying to use the steel industry and steelworkers to somehow affect dairy. That’s not how this should be done. At the end of the day, a trade war doesn’t help anyone and it’s going to ultimately hurt middle-class families across America.”

Trump thinks "free trade" means that everyone agrees to import and export the same products at the same price in every country. If they sell cars to us, they have to buy the same number of cars from us.

He's confused. And there's nothing anyone can say to change his mind because he's been addled on this subject for 40 years.