The T in Trump stands for tariffs and trade wars

Trump Trade Wars

During the 2016 GOP primaries, we were repeatedly reminded by the Trump cult about how, as a successful businessman, the New York liberal was the person America needed to “fix” an economy recovering from the financial meltdown of 2008.

I was never all that impressed with Trump’s track record of so-called business success, beginning with a family inheritance and a $1 million loan from his wealthy father, Trump “succeeded” by having more business failures than successes—including four bankruptcies—while achieving the self-proclaimed status as “the king of debt.”

If anything, Trump was exhibit A for what NOT to do to fix an economy. In fact, it was the business practices of real estate investors like him that led to the 2008 crash in the first place.

Yeah, I can hear the cult now telling me about the record-breaking stock market. While the market has climbed to all-time highs, it’s riding a bull market that began in 2009 under Obama, way before Trump’s trade wars began. I guess that means Barry gets some of the credit too, right?

I can also hear the cult praising Trump for lower taxes and new jobs after the recently passed tax reform bill. They’re only half right. While individual rates are lower for many, there’s no way to predict how lower corporate tax rates will translate into new jobs; however, without a correlating reduction in spending, Trump’s tax plan will explode the country’s already massive debt.

But hey, maybe he can make America bankruptcy #5.

As a man who routinely sabotages his own agenda, Trump’s recently announced trade wars could bring any progress he might have crashing down. On Monday, Trump announced YUGE tariffs on imported solar panels and residential washing machines in order to protect select US manufacturers of these products and to save jobs.

Tariffs have historically done more harm than good, however, with higher prices to consumers and LOST jobs being the result.

For example, when the Bush administration imposed tariffs on steel in 2002, prices for products using steel rose 40%, and there were additional price increases by domestic producers due to reduced competition. Bush’s tariff “saved” 1700 jobs but at a cost of approximately $800,000 each. Additionally, multiple tens of thousands of jobs were indirectly lost.

By the way, trade-wars can also hit agriculture big time according to Sen. Chuck Grassley because “if you take action against a particular country, there’s always a chance for retaliation. A lot of times, that retaliation is in regard to agriculture. And that’s very scary.”

Following Trump’s announcement, Sen. Ben Sasse reminded his GOP colleagues that tariffs and trade wars are really just another tax on consumers, saying, “Moms and dads shopping on a budget for a new washing machine will pay for this—not big companies.”

The T in Trump stands for tariffs and trade-wars, but it stands for one more thing—a train wreck for the American economy.


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that’s politically incorrect and always “right.” His columns are featured on,, and

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