To win election, Donald Trump positioned himself as a Washington outsider, as a candidate who would never take corporate money, and as a new type of political leader who would “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C..
Instead, as everyone knows, Trump has been beholden to corporate interests and the Republican establishment in Washington which is completely owned by big corporate money interests. Not only that, but he also is running the most corrupt administration in the history of the country, where the primary goal of everyone there seems to be how to make the most money by fleecing American taxpayers.
Perhaps in order to offset what is now his corrupt image, where people have accused him of restocking the swamp instead of draining it, Donald Trump has decided that he needs to start a trade war and impose outdated protectionist economic policies.
Reports from inside the White House indicate that despite retaliation and criticism, he will not back down from his proposed tariffs. He even seems to be looking forward to the trade war, which he thinks will be “easy to win.” In doing all of this Donald Trump has in effect “declared war” on corporate America.
Perhaps because this has all happened so fast they think Trump is bluffing and there really won’t be new import taxes that will raise prices for American consumers while costing American jobs and causing American businesses (including farmers) to go bankrupt.
But that is starting to change as more Republicans and Republican business donors are expressing their concerns about what Trump is doing in the area of trade.
“I’d like to kill ’em,” complained Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), referring to Trump’s list of proposed tariffs on goods from Europe, Canada, Mexico and China. More and more Republicans fear that Trump’s actions will cost them dearly in November’s elections.
And, as the date nears for imposition of the new import duties, reality is sinking in for many businesses and trade groups who see a disaster on the horizon that very few people are talking about.
Most corporate leaders have not criticized the president since his elections, but that is starting to change, with General Motors and Harley Davidson being only the latest and most prominent companies to complain about Trump’s trade actions.
“Trump’s approach has created a high-stakes showdown without recent political precedent: A Republican president betting that his populist approach to trade will thrill his working-class base and blow away any short-term economic fallout or reduced political support from the nation’s largest business organizations. His message to corporate America so far: I don’t care what you say, my base is with me.
On the other side, corporate titans and market analysts fear Trump is on the cusp of damaging the American economy — and that he will not recognize the failure of his approach until it’s too late.”
“With every successive firecracker that Trump sets off, we see corporate leaders and groups emboldened and ready to go on the public stage to take him on,” said Nancy Koehn, a business expert at Harvard University. “This isn’t the natural order of history that large business groups oppose a Republican president. Trump has a from-the-gut sense that his base will be with him come hell or high water. But it’s a very big bet with no certainty of success.”
U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue said his group is strongly opposed to Trump’s tariffs. “The administration is threatening to undermine the economic progress it worked so hard to achieve. We should seek free and fair trade, but this is just not the way to do it,” Donohue said.
On Friday, General Motors said that Trump’s proposal for 25 percent tariffs on imported cars “could lead to a smaller GM, a reduced presence at home and cost U.S. jobs.” The automobile makers trade group said that Trump’s actions will lead to higher prices, lower demand, and could cost “hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs.”
Many people think Donald Trump is insane, or close to it. These latest misguided trade actions may be all the proof that Americans need to be sure of it. And for the good of the country, we can only hope that in November Americans will come to their senses and put Democrats back in charge of the country before Trump has a chance to destroy it.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.