Trump's trade war with China is raising prices on everyday items for American consumers. His message to those consumers? 'Enjoy!'
Trump's reckless trade war is being panned left and right by economists, politicians, and even his own administration officials, who all know that raising tariffs on Chinese imports is nothing more than a tax on American companies and consumers.
And in the face of the criticism and plummeting stock prices, Trump is doing the only thing he knows how to do amid backlash: firing off inane tweets that don't help his situation in the slightest.
In an early morning tweetstorm, Trump again proved he has no idea how business works — which should come as no surprise given recently reporting on business failures and loss of more than $1 billion.
"China buys MUCH less from us than we buy from them, by almost 500 Billion Dollars, so we are in a fantastic position," Trump tweeted. "Make your product at home in the USA and there is no Tariff. You can also buy from a non-Tariffed country instead of China."
But companies cannot just instantly move their manufacturing plans to the United States. Companies have already placed orders for Chinese goods, with some companies even having products in transit to the U.S. as we speak.
Given Trump's tariffs — or a fancy name for import taxes — went into effect immediately, those companies are forced to pay the tariffs on those goods, which they were not expecting. That means companies will either take a huge hit to their profit margins or take a loss on the items altogether.
And even if companies moved their manufacturing plants to the United States, it would take time and a lot of money to find the space, the equipment, and the employees to make those factories run. That's not an immediate fix for anyone.
Another factor at play is that making goods here is astronomically more expensive than in China, so again, prices would go up for consumers. Not to mention, even if companies could move their factories, many of the individual parts that go into the products they make are imported from China. Given those parts are subject to tariffs, companies are still being hit by the trade war.
None of those options are good.
Trump's tweetstorm didn't end there.
He continued: "Many companies are leaving China so that they will be more competitive for USA buyers. We are now a much bigger economy than China, and have substantially increased in size since the great 2016 Election," Trump tweeted. "We are the 'piggy bank' that everyone wants to raid and take advantage of. NO MORE!"
The American economy has always been bigger than China's. This is not new. It has not changed since Trump became president. This tweet is a gigantic lie.
Trump went on from there.
"We can make a deal with China tomorrow, before their companies start leaving so as not to lose USA business, but the last time we were close they wanted to renegotiate the deal," Trump tweeted. "No way! We are in a much better position now than any deal we could have made."
Again, Trump is inflicting pain on American companies and consumers for a trade deal with China.
Trump then tweeted, "Billions of Dollars, and moving jobs back to the USA where they belong. Other countries are already negotiating with us because they don’t want this to happen to them. They must be a part of USA action. This should have been done by our leaders many years ago. Enjoy!"
Hear that consumers? Enjoy your higher prices!
Also part of Trump's trade war Twitter meltdown were farmers, who are being hit hard by retaliatory tariffs from China.
Trump promised those farmers subsidies to make up for the pain they are feeling from Trump's policies.
"Our great Patriot Farmers will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of what is happening now," Trump tweeted. "Hopefully China will do us the honor of continuing to buy our great farm product, the best, but if not your Country will be making up the difference based on a very high China buy. This money will come from the massive Tariffs being paid to the United States for allowing China, and others, to do business with us. The Farmers have been 'forgotten' for many years. Their time is now!"
Trump is picking winners and losers, forcing other companies and industries to pay tariffs (which will trickle down to higher prices for consumers), and then funneling that money to farmers. It's a decidedly un-Republican policy.
But Republicans are sitting on their hands. Rather than stick up for their principles and American consumers, they're letting Trump plow through with his reckless policies, as they've done through Trump's entire presidency.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.