In the face of adversity, U.S. President Donald Trump’s default mode of operation remains making stuff up. On Saturday, he took to Twitter to make up benefits his administration’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum are having on U.S. industry.
A number of his claims are vague, but mostly easily disproved anyway.
‘Tariffs have had a tremendous positive impact on our Steel Industry. Plants are opening all over the U.S., Steelworkers are working again, and big dollars are flowing into our Treasury. Other countries use Tariffs against, but when we use them, foolish people scream!’
First of all, no matter how many times he does it, when President Trump employs rhetoric like “when we use [tariffs], foolish people scream!” it drags down the office of the presidency and the place of the United States in the world. That’s the type of rhetoric that we want to be getting away from, not embracing. Calling those affected by and/or opposed to tariffs “foolish people” isn’t exactly the best strategy to earn the United States many allies.
The issue with the president’s above statement isn’t just that it’s harsh and poised to drive people away, however.
Steel plants are not opening all over the United States. He’s claimed as much repeatedly at recent public events including at his recent rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
He told the crowd:
‘We’re putting our steel workers back to work at clips nobody could believe. U.S. Steel is opening up seven plants.’
The reason that nobody can believe it is because it’s not true — it’s that simple. U.S. Steel has no plans to open up new plants, despite the fact that Trump keeps claiming they do. The company told PolitiFact that “all information shared with the federal government has been properly disclosed and made available on our website.” In other words, they want to make sure that it’s clear that they are not the source of the president’s claims.
The falsity of his claims certainly didn’t stop Trump on Saturday, however.
He went on to claim that in the face of his tariffs, China is “spending a fortune on ads and P.R. trying to convince and scare our politicians to fight me on Tariffs – because they are really hurting their economy.” It’s not immediately clear where any Chinese backed ads against the tariffs are being broadcast that’s relevant to American politicians.
There is a four month national ad campaign against Trump’s tariffs that’s been put out by an American group called Farmers for Free Trade. That organization formed before the 2018 back and forth between Trump and China — and others — began, and it’s established enough in American circles to enjoy the support of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
In the end, the president just isn’t trustworthy. While proposing hundreds of billions of dollars worth of additional tariffs, interests at home continue to face the threat of closed of Chinese — and global — markets.
Besides his ranting about China, Trump also raised the possibility of meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in an effort to diffuse tensions in similar fashion to his meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. That meeting may or may not ever happen — but Trump keeps finding ways to sit down with dictators like he’s their biggest fan.
Check out Twitter’s response below.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot