While most rational Americans can agree that Trump’s cabinet choices and his economic policies are indications that he has little idea how to serve in the position to which he was elected, his tariff proposals and his choice of Wilbur Ross as secretary of commerce have both faced more critical concerns than others. For Trump, the way to respond to that is to send Ross to discuss the imposition of tariffs with U.S. allies in the European Union.
Trump is not the first president to impose tariffs on U.S. exports. Richard Nixon did the same (which caused a worldwide economic stagnation that hit the same blue-collar American workers who elected him worse than anyone else in the country), and George H.W. Bush did, as well (and it cost blue-collar workers who elected him more than 200,000 jobs). The hope, however, of Trump of learning from the GOP’s past mistakes seems long since forgotten.
According to PBS News Hour:
‘President Donald Trump’s announcement Thursday that the United States would impose heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminum — with some countries potentially exempted — suddenly raised a fear that few had anticipated: That U.S. tariffs could trigger a chain of tit-for-tat retaliation by America’s trading partners that could erupt into a full-blown trade war and possibly threaten the global economy.
‘Given how far many countries have come since the painful years of debt crises and a crushing recession, the threat posed by the tariffs struck many as an ill-considered risk.’
Sending Wilbur Ross, who Trump himself has criticized frequently for sleeping during meetings and handling trade deals badly, to discuss these new policies is simply more evidence that the former reality TV show host and bankrupted business owner is in way over his head. Who could have guessed that might happen?
Twitter was equally unimpressed with Trump’s pronouncement. See some of their best responses below:
Featured image via Getty/Chip Somodevilla