Trump finally admitted that his tariffs on Chinese goods are hurting the stock market and, by extension, the economy in general. But he says it had to be done by someone and he’s the first president to address the problem of a China that is “out of control” in some unspecified manner.
I love how he’s so casual about dismissing the incredible damage the tariffs are doing, especially to soybean farmers. Because of his tariffs, the export of soybeans has dropped from more than 700 million bushels to only about 20 million bushels. That’s a loss so staggering that it’s almost impossible to comprehend. And it’s causing tremendous strife on farms, where it has prompted another round of farm bankruptcies.
Donald Trump said his trade war with China has hurt the performance of the U.S. stock market, but that he had to confront the country’s economic practices.
“Let me tell you, if I wanted to do nothing with China, our stock market, our stock market would be 10,000 points higher than it is right now but somebody had to do this,” the president told reporters at the White House on Wednesday. “It was out of control and they were out of control.”…
“We’ll see what happens, if they want to make a deal, they’ll make a deal, if they don’t want to make a deal, that’s fine,” he said.
And while we do have some serious problems to address with Chinese practices, especially when it comes to respecting American media copyrights, his only real criteria for declaring China “out of control” is that they export more products to the United States than we export to them. Economists generally agree that this just isn’t a meaningful measure of good or bad on the economy. But because Trump is profoundly ignorant, he has consistently conflated trade deficits with budget deficits. That’s why he has repeatedly claimed that he would erase the federal debt by renegotiating our trade deals, which is simply nonsense. And it’s been proven wrong by the fact that Trump has actually exploded the budget deficit rather than shrink it.