Trump promised to replace what he termed as “fool trade” with fair trade when it comes to America’s economic partnerships, especially those with NAFTA and the EU.
Tweeting from Singapore after the failed G7 Summit in Canada, the President wrote that “Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal”, before explaining how Canada and Germany “rip off” the US through their own protectionist tariffs and insufficient contributions to NATO, respectively. Trump’s sour that their leaders attacked him for his “Make America Great Again” steel and aluminum tariffs while hypocritically ignoring their own lopsided economic relations with the US, and he believes that now is the time to make right for what he truly believes are the historic wrongs that his predecessors committed in voluntarily handicapping American power. Proverbially speaking, the President conceptualizes America as Gulliver the “giant” tied down by a bunch of Lilliputian dwarves, albeit having previously put itself in this submissive position out of some sort of ideological masochistic-sadism that Trump wants to free it from.
The Cold War-era quid pro quo of the US providing costly security assistance to its NATO allies in order to enable them to concentrate more fully on building their utopian welfare states is no longer relevant because of the changing nature of geopolitics and the rise of asymmetrical threats, though Clinton, Bush, and Obama perpetuated this state of affairs because it advanced the Liberal-Globalist model that all three of them were pursuing at the expense of average Americans. Having entered into office because of the desperation that millions of regular folks in Middle America are experiencing as a result of the domestically catastrophic consequences of globalization on the American Heartland and especially the Midwest, Trump feels obligated to do something about this massive self-inflicted economic wound that’s bleeding hundreds of billions of dollars from the country each year for voluntary reasons that are impossible for this businessman to fathom.
Transforming “fool trade” back into fair trade will harmonize this imbalance, at least from the US’ perspective, though it’ll be detrimental to its semi-socialist partners who have grown accustomed to having the “big brother” that they love to complain about so much subsidizing their militaries and de-facto doing the same for their economies through this decades-long legacy of uneven trading arrangements that Trump now wants to change. The far-reaching consequences of the Europeans losing out on this multibillion-dollar bonanza are that their domestic growth and social stability will undoubtedly suffer while the elite scramble to appease the masses as they frantically try to negotiate more favorable trading terms with the US. America can deal with an indefinite disruption of transatlantic trade much better than the Europeans can, and Trump’s betting that he can exploit the resultant geopolitical tumult in order to strengthen the US’ unipolar control over the EU.
The post presented is the partial transcript of the CONTEXT COUNTDOWN radio program on Sputnik News, aired on Friday Jun 15, 2018:
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This whole article is complicated speculation and elaboration that grants Trump’s premise, namely, that the USA is somehow the victim of world trade. But the facts simply do not support this.
1. The US has a trade surplus, both with Canada and the EU when you add in services, instead of isolating the goods category artificially. The US would even have a trade surplus with Canada (biggest trading partner) in just goods by a wide margin if you leave out oil imports.
2. Having a trade deficit does not mean you are meaning robbed. It means you are getting real stuff in exchange for pieces of paper printed up at the Treasury. Absolutely no vicimization here. Not having a trade deficit means doing without that stuff.
3. Average tariffs for trade in the US and the EU are both around 1.6%, so no big disparity. However, EU countries collect VAT, which subsidizes export and penalizes import. Not having a VAT is a self-imposed constraint of US policy. There are many other factors at play. Both the US and the EU subsidize agriculture with tens of billions of dollars (which usually land up in the pockets of those that don’t need it, not the family farms). Canada has tariffs on dairy, but no subsidizes that falsify market prices.
4. The US cost structure is severly disadvantaged by the medical scam (& higher education), and by the military spending scam (the US spends more than 50% of world military spending). This is US policy, however. The world would arguably be a lot better off with less military competition and spending.