President Donald Trump is sure his new tariffs will force America’s allies and foes to look at the United States in a different way when it comes to trade. Trump wants to change the trade rules that the United States put its stamp of approval on years ago. Mr. Trump is upset because the Germans are selling too many cars in the United States, and he’s angry because the Chinese seem to know more about the art of foreign trading than he does. So instead of coming up with a comprehensive plan to level the trade surplus playing field, he is forcing countries to retaliate. And according to the Chinese media, they will retaliate.
Mr. Trump believes Americans will take this pending trade war seriously, and back his strong arm trade tactics. But most economists say Trump is playing with fire, and that fire could erupt into an all-out war that makes some imported products too expensive for Americans. But if history is any indication of how consumers react to rising prices, Trump may be in this war on his own. Most Americans know the $50 billion in Chinese tariffs will hurt them more than it will hurt the Chinese. The Chinese have plenty of other countries to buy from, and they will if Trump’s tariff plan becomes a reality.
The Chinese have a low opinion of Mr. Trump. The state-run Chinese Global Times thinks anyone who wants to build walls is an idiot. And more than 50 percent of American voters agree with that statement, according to recent news articles. Some Americans say Trump is trying to push China, Europe, Mexico, and Canada into a “cry uncle” position. But our trading partners know Mr. Trump isn’t the most reliable person on the planet, and that makes this tariff situation more of a threat, according to some Americans.
The Chinese, Europeans, Canadians, and Mexicans want to negotiate, but Trump is not in a negotiating mood. The Mueller investigation is on his mind. He knows it’s only a matter of time before he has to listen to Mueller’s fact-based music. So in order to show he is doing something positive while Mueller tightens the noose around his neck, Trump is deflecting by talking about his great meeting with Kim Jong-un, his wall building attributes, and his tariff levying prowess. It seems Trump thinks he has to do more to maintain his position as a fool on the world stage, according to the Chinese.