Springtime for Sycophants – by Paul Krugman – NYT

When Donald Trump came to office, many feared that he would break up our close economic relations with Mexico and/or start a trade war with China. So far, neither has happened.

It’s true that our free trade agreement with Mexico and Canada is still under threat, and Trump has placed tariffs on some Chinese goods. But his trade ire seems increasingly focused on an unexpected target: the European Union, which he tweeted has “horrific barriers & tariffs on U.S. products going in.”

This is odd on several levels. To the (very large) extent to which Trumpism is based on racial enmity, picking a fight with Europe, of all places, seems strange. Furthermore, the U.S. has always looked favorably on the E.U., which is, for all its faults, a major force for peace and democracy. Why rush into a spitting match with our allies that only serves the interests of enemies of freedom like Vladimir Putin? Oh, wait.

Beyond all that, however, Trump is just wrong on the facts. “U.S. exports to the European Union enjoy an average tariff of just 3 percent,” says the U.S. government’s own guide to exporters.

Where is Trump getting his misinformation? Probably from Peter Navarro, his trade czar, whose star is clearly rising. And the story of Navarro’s rise tells you a lot about the nature of the Trump administration — a place that rewards sycophants who tell the boss what he wants to hear.

via Springtime for Sycophants – The New York Times

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About David Lindsay Jr

David Lindsay is the author of "The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth- Century Vietnam," that covers a bloody civil war from 1770 to 1802. It was published by Footmad and Cherry Blossom Press on September 11, 2017. Find more about it at TheTaySonRebellion.com, also known as, DavidLindsayJr.com.
This entry was posted in Donald Trump, Foreign Trade Policy, Paul Krugman and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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