White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders made it clear that the US is in a trade war with Canada because Trump thinks that Canada wasn’t nice enough to him.
Q: Sarah, if I may, on trade, Canada responded to the steel and aluminum tariffs that the president imposed already on the imported steel and aluminum. What’s the response from the White House, from the president, to that action by Canada?
Sanders: We’ve been very nice to Canada for many years. And they’ve taken advantage of that. Particularly advantage of our farmers and at the G7 the president actually proposed that they get rid of all tariffs and drop all barriers and have really great trade and they refused that. And escalating tariffs against the United States does nothing to help Canada. And it only hurts American workers. The president is working to fix the broken system and he’ll continue pushing for that.
According to US data, the United States has a trade surplus with Canada
According to US government data, the United States had a trade surplus with Canada in 2016, so Trump’s trade war with our northern neighbor is either something that he invented in his imagination, or it is a stunt designed to project strength. Either way, niceness has nothing to do with trade policy. The fact that Sanders talked about Canada as not being nice suggests that if Canada would be “nicer” to Trump, there would be no trade war.
Trump is still fuming over the disastrous G7 meeting in Canada, so he is going to hurt the US economy until Justin Trudeau and Canada are “nice” to him. Sarah Sanders couldn’t talk about US trade policy in non-childlike terms, but it does explain Trump’s view of governing.
Canada gets punished because they aren’t nice. China is nice to Trump, via a $500 million bribe, and they get sanctions lifted despite a $385 billion deficit.
The tariffs aren’t really about trade. Trump is just trying to bully Canada into loving him.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association