You’d be hard pressed to find an example of President Donald Trump admitting that something he did came up short. In his estimation, each and every policy step his administration takes is a wondrous one, and only fools and haters disagree.
He reiterated this line of reasoning in a video message that went up on his personal Twitter account this Thursday afternoon, shortly after yet another escalation in the nation’s tariff back and forth with China. In the video, he asserted the success of his administration’s trade policy, which has included those tariffs on trading partners all around the world.
‘For many years, countries have been taking total advantage of the United States on trade. Whether they’re allies or not, they’ve looked at us basically as a bunch of really soft touches, and that’s not what’s happening anymore.’
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2018
As an example of the positive development he claims, the president pointed to a recently announced trade deal with Mexico. Even that, though, which is meant as a new and improved North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement — of sorts — has its dark underside. Canada, the other party along with Mexico and the U.S. to NAFTA, has not yet signed onto a trade deal covering future economic activity. Thus, rather than Trump pushing the American economy off into a “brave new world” with his trade efforts, he’s holding it over a cliff. American industry has grown to rely on an interconnected North American economy, but Trump is willing to wipe that away.
He’s supported in his effort by a tenuous at best connection to reality. He claimed, for instance, in the aforementioned Thursday profile video that under NAFTA, the United States has been losing massive amounts of money.
That, on a surface level, isn’t true though. What he’s likely referring to are the supposed massive trade deficits the U.S. has maintained with Canada and Mexico, but that’s not how trade deficits work either. Importing from a certain country more than one exports to them doesn’t represent a loss. There’s potential for growth, sure, but it’s not a loss.
Trump isn’t deterred, though. He claims that his tariffs, slapped on countries including Canada, Mexico, and others have been a rousing success and asserts a trade deal with China is on the horizon. Meanwhile, American industry faces the pressure of his administration’s tariffs and the retaliatory tariffs imposed in response from interests around the world. Sales to foreign buyers are going down, for some, across the board, while their costs go up and up. Stories along these lines have been collected at tariffshurt.com.
Trump just keeps tweeting, though.
Check out Twitter’s response below.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video