At a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Sweden, Trump proclaimed that trade wars aren’t so bad and revealed that he has no idea how trade works.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) March 6, 2018
Trump was how he would avoid a trade war, and he answered, “Well, we’ll have to see. When we’re behind on every single country, trade wars aren’t so bad. Do you understand what I mean that? When we’re down by $30 billion, $40 billion, $60 billion, $100 billion, the trade war hurts them. Doesn’t hurt us. So we’ll see what happens. You know, you can also take it in some cases we lose on trade, plus we give them military where we’re subsidizing them tremendously. So not only do we lose on trade, we lose on military. So, and hence, we have these massive deficit numbers in our country. We’re going to straighten it out and we’ll do it in a — in a very loving way. It will be a loving, loving way. They’ll like us better and they will respect us much more. Because even they say, right now, they say, we can’t believe we’ve gotten away, I mean, two countries have said, we believe, to be honest with you, we’ve gotten away with this so long. Now, one of them made that statement before I got elected. He said, I can’t believe I made that statement before I got elected, but it’s one of those things. We have to straighten it out. We really have no choice.”
Trump doesn’t know how trade works
If the US imposes tariffs, other nations aren’t going to sit around and take it. They are going to impose retaliatory tariffs of their own. US exports aren’t going to go up, they are going to go down, and the trade deficit will get worse. While this is happening prices will be going for consumers, and people will losing their jobs in industries that are being hit with retaliatory tariffs.
Companies aren’t going to buy American because of the tariffs. They are going to raise their prices and pass along that increase to consumers. A country can’t trade war itself out of a trade deficit. Trump doesn’t understand the economic implications of his own policy, and couldn’t help humiliating himself defending a policy that is destined to fail.