When I attended primary school, a popular insult amongst the students (please pardon the crassness, we were kids) was “Sucks to be you.”
As we’ve previously noted – life is high school on steroids. Which President Donald Trump seems to grasp better than most. He applied this knowledge to accomplish oh-so-very-much in the private sector – and is doing so again as President.
It is how Trump is approaching the half-century-old global trade nightmare mess he inherited.
The United States on trade – has been the fool of the world. We have been a virtually open channel to any goods and services from any and everywhere (including really awful places like China). While we have let any and everyone everywhere – impose all sorts of tariffs and import-limits on our stuff.
Meanwhile, we hardly subsidize anything – while they subsidize the daylight of just about everything.
All of which made our products – and our market – dramatically less competitive. Not because our private sector can’t compete – but because their governments were uber-assisting theirs.
And in our infinite stupidity – and to our everlasting discredit – we have spent decades doing nothing about it.
President Donald Trump and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker leaves the podiums after speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Trump understands the three components of a successful US economy: less regulations, low taxes – and an even global trade playing field.
And then Trump got to work on trade. He started imposing tariffs on the nations that had for so long been screwing us. And everyone in DC and freaked out – and much of Actual America did as well.
Although much to Actual America’s credit – they were willing to give Trump room to operate before rendering a final verdict. Dumb DC was not.
As is nigh always the case when Actual America disagrees with DC – Actual America was correct.
Decades of the planet dumping bad trade deals on US – was the policy equivalent of the planet saying to US “Sucks to be you.”
Trump’s tariffs were his way of demonstrating that yes…being on the bad end of terrible trade policies does indeed suck. So Trump said – “Let’s see how you like it.”
The world…very obviously doesn’t. And they howled and howled.
The world’s governments ratcheted up their existing foreign lobby shops in DC. Trying to get American legislators to pass American legislation – to protect the world’s very sweet deals at the our expense.
Sadly, many American legislators acquiesced. Because the absolute last constituency far too many American legislators represent – is Americans.
Trump undoubtedly views explanations of his trade strategy – the way he views explanations of his military strategy. What they don’t know – hurts them.
Trump knows DC is a very leaky ship of state – so he’s kept his trade strategy to himself.
Other than to repeatedly paraphrase what Ronald Reagan said about the Cold War: “We win – they lose.”
Trump offers and re-offers the same desired outcome: Zero tariffs, trade-limits and subsidies – from anyone…on anyone.
And now it appears the European Union (EU) is the first major trade partner to publicly acknowledge that it does in fact “Suck to be you.”
Yesterday was July 25 – and this was the headline:
But that headline – leaves a lot to be desired. Thanks to Trump – the trade deal proposal does not:
“Donald Trump and European Union officials on Wednesday stepped back from a trade war as they struck a deal to work towards ‘zero’ tariffs, barriers and subsidies.”
Get all that? Zero tariffs, zero barriers and zero subsidies.
In case anyone was still wondering – that is Trump winning the European front of the Trade World War.
How long does it take for others to realize how suck-y it is be treated – the way they treat US? This is a headline from July 22 – just three days prior to yesterday’s headline:
What a wondrous seventy-two hours that was.
Could this be the first of many anti-US trade dominoes to fall? So it would seem.
“The man tapped as chief trade negotiator for Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador suggested flexibility in making a new deal to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement before his boss takes office in December.”
In case you were unaware – Mexican President-elect Obrador…is a Communist. But Communist leaders are Communists for their peoples – and capitalists for themselves.
Obrador realizes that keeping some portion of their very sweet one-way deal with US – is better than losing all of it.
Our prediction: We will get much better deals with the EU and Mexico-Canada (the third nation in NAFTA). And the global anti-US dominoes will continue to fall. Japan, South Korea, much of Asia…and ultimately – the very awful China.
We will get better deals throughout.
Actual America will yet again be proven to be oh-so-very-much-smarter than Dumb DC.
And it will “Suck to be US” – oh-so-very-much-less.