Trump & Trade: The Successful Failure of the G7 Meeting

President Trump attended the G7 summit in Canada this weekend and, depending on which news reports you read, the world ended and you already may be dead.

The hysterical overreaction that has accompanied every move of this President since his inauguration continued unabated after Trump refused to go along with a trade system that shortchanges America’s workers, farmers in particular.

Trump reduced dry and arcane trade agreements thusly: “We’re like the piggy bank that everybody’s robbing. And that ends.” While the metaphor is simple and straightforward, it is also true. “Free and fair” trade as a mantra on the right has always masked the terrible deals leaders in both parties have entered into. Up until now, none of them seem to have asked, let alone acted upon, whether any given deal is good for Americans.

Trump left the summit early, thereby missing out on a “climate change” session. These are details often overlooked by a distraught media but which should give us cheer. He also attended some cheesy “gender and why you’re a misogynist” session but arrived pointedly and painfully late. These might strike some as small things but in the liberal worldview they are great insults and yet further proof of how awful Trump is, on every level. You can’t say the man doesn’t know how to live rent free in their always exploding heads.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump.

After his departure, boy Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a press conference in which he attacked Trump and the various trade positions of the United States. That was a mistake. Trump hears plenty of criticism or opposition to an idea or policy but to his face. He can deal with that easily and in a straightforward manner. Indeed, his White House is run on the idea of getting many competing ideas before Trump. Competition: what can’t it do?


Trump decimated Trudeau in just a couple of tweets. “The lady’s not for turning,” Margaret Thatcher famously said of herself. Well, this gentlemen is not for being attacked behind his back when he was personally present at a conference. Cowardice isn’t a trait that President Trump admires. In addition to death by tweet, he also instructed our trade representatives not to sign off on a proposed joint communique.


Media reaction to Trump’s tweets was hysterical, even by their tiresome and over the top standards. Our closest allies were said to be dumbfounded, the fabric of the universe was torn beyond repair and America was adrift and alone on the world stage, possibly falling off the edge of the oceans into the ether.

The reality was quite different. Why did we not know Canada has a 275% tariff on our dairy products. In what misshapen world is that fair?

Trump repeatedly said in his campaign that America’s trade deals were grossly unfair to its citizens. This is what a President who keeps his promises and puts Americans’ interest first looks like. If it seems strange at times, because some upsetting of the trade apple cart has to take place, it should only serve to remind us how abandoned we have been previously by leaders from both parties.

Flying to Singapore for his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, President Trump put the matter in a nutshell when he tweeted: “Fair trade is now to be called fool trade if it is not reciprocal. Sorry, we cannot let our friends, or enemies, take advantage of us on trade anymore. We must put the American worker first!”


That this common sense principle is seen as controversial shows just how far away from ourselves we have come and how much work, even at the speed of Trump, remains to be done.

 

UPDATED June 11, 2018 1:53pm ET

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