This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 2, 2018:
Canada and the European Union retaliated when President Trump’s tariffs kicked in on July 1. The Canadian government began imposing tariffs on a long list of U.S. consumer goods, ranging from ketchup to pizza to dishwasher detergent to lawn mowers, totaling about $12.6 billion of U.S. exports into the country. Left-wing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged his citizens to “make their choices accordingly” when deciding whether or not to purchase American-made imported products.
On Monday, the European Union threatened retaliatory tariffs on nearly $300 billion of U.S. auto exports should the Trump administration go ahead with tariffs on European autos coming to the United States. It submitted its threat to the U.S. Commerce Department, claiming that Trump’s tariffs on automobiles could have a $13-14 billion negative impact on the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). This would be in addition to the retaliatory tariffs the EU levied against the United States after the Trump administration imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum coming from the EU.
Ironically, the EU seemed to ignore the fact that the EU exported $43.5 billion worth of cars to the United States last year, while U.S. automakers only were able to export $7.2 billion worth of cars to the EU, because of the EU’s enormously unfair tariffs on American made cars. Said Trump, “It’s terrible what they [the EU] do to us.… They send their Mercedes [into the U.S. but] we can’t send our cars [into the EU].”
In the grand scheme of things, the impact of these tariffs on the U.S. economy will likely not only be tiny, but temporary. And it’s that “grand scheme” that the mainstream media refuses to discuss, focusing instead on the potential economic impact on the country and disregarding and ignoring what the president is attempting to do: restore national sovereignty that trade deals have significantly and deliberately damaged.
While still a candidate, Donald Trump told his audience what he was going to do to make things fairer if he were elected president. In June 2016 he laid out his plans, and his purposes behind them, to a rapt audience in Monessen, Pennsylvania. It was a long speech, carefully crafted, and so just the most relevant extracts appear here:
Our politicians have aggressively pursued a policy of globalization, moving our jobs, our wealth and our factories to Mexico and overseas….
When subsidized foreign steel is dumped into our markets [it] threatens our factories….
I want you to imagine how much better our future can be if we declare our independence from the elites who led us from one financial and foreign policy disaster to another….
America became the world’s dominant economy by becoming the world’s dominant producer … but American [elites] changed its policy from promoting development of America … to promoting development in other nations….
[Our problems are] the consequence of a leadership class that worships globalism over Americanism….
Today, 240 years after the Revolution, [they] have turned things completely upside down. We tax and regulate and restrict our companies to death and then we allow foreign countries that cheat to export their goods to us tax-free. How stupid is that? How could it happen?….
The Trans-Pacific Partnership … [would force us to] give up all our economic leverage to an international commission that would put the interests of foreign countries above our own.… It would make it easier for our trading partners to ship cheap subsidized goods into United States markets, while allowing foreign countries to continue putting up barriers in front of our exports….
Not only will the TTP undermine our economy but it will undermine our independence….
The TPP creates a new international commission that makes decisions the American people are no longer given the right to veto….
There’s no way to fix [the] TPP. We need bilateral trade deals. We do not need to enter into another massive international agreement that ties us up and binds us down, like TPP does….
[We] already have a trade war, and we’re losing badly….
The era of economic surrender will finally be over [if I’m elected]. It will be over.
In this remarkable speech — remarkable perhaps because so few even remember it, much less refer to it when defending Trump’s efforts to pursue genuinely fair trade — Trump spelled out the real threat: globalism, where the United States would no longer be a sovereign nation, but one captured by the globalists, just as they have captured the formerly sovereign nations that now make up the European Union.
What the president has accomplished so far in his nascent presidency is also remarkable, and worthy of stressing once again:
- The president is keeping his campaign promises;
- The retaliatory tariffs being imposed and threatened are minuscule compared to the size of the U.S. economy;
- Those tariffs are likely to be temporary as they very quickly will inflict vastly more pain on the those applying them than any pain inflicted here in the United States; and
- The president sees the big picture, surely now more clearly than when he was only a candidate: Globalists have been working for decades to bring down the U.S. economy to make it fit comfortably into the internationalist mosaic, on their way to establishing a global political order run by themselves.
At issue aren’t the tariffs, but national sovereignty, and the president’s determination to restore it, inflicting modest short-run pain locally in exchange for even greater long-run prosperity and independence. Time and the enormous size of the American economy are working in Trump’s favor, as those retaliating are shortly to find out.