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Trump Issues Threats at G-7 Summit - Is This Helpful or Hurtful to US?
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9 Jun 2018 03:37 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Donald Trump (Image source: Public domain)


The country was sold a bill of goods when Donald Trump was elected, that what was needed to fix the economy was a businessman who is known as "The Great Negotiator." But now that he is making choices to fix the economy at the risk of alienating our longstanding relationships with allies, are we better off?

Trump is not a politician, or at least he wasn't until he was elected president, so he has continued to make questionable choices throughout his presidency, at times breaking with longstanding traditions. He had experience negotiating business in foreign countries, but does this really translate to politics?

He was invited to the G-7 summit along with the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Canada. The U.S. has longstanding relationships with these countries. However, on the eve before the summit was due to begin, Trump entered into a war of words with the other leaders, then announced he'd be leaving the summit early.

What is at the heart of the arguments is Trump's tariffs he is initiating, as the other leaders see his tariffs as something that would bring harm to their industry. Trump appears to be seeing it as better economically for the U.S. and not caring how it affects trade in these other countries.

But if the trade is affected in these other countries, it could eventually come back and bite the U.S. It would cost the U.S. to not have the open trade, diminishing cash flow, and could also possibly affect employment. If this is the case, the economy will be hurt in the long run instead of helped.

Additionally, these longstanding relationships with our allies will be affected. They'll stop inviting the U.S. to their summits and conferences. In a way it seems similar to what has happened with North Korea. Kim Jong Un liked to threaten other countries with his nuclear weapons, but now their economy is hurting, leading to him being anxious to meet with Trump this week and get sanctions lifted.

Despite all this, "the great negotiator" told the leaders of the other six countries at the summit that they have to dramatically reduce trade barriers with the U.S. or risk losing access to our economy, seen as the world's largest.

This leaves these other countries to decide whether they will bow to his threats or whether they will refuse and take the risk. Both options seem risky and could possibly seem like a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario, and it seems these decisions could affect economy throughout the world.

In private conversations with the other six leaders, Trump has asked them to remove every tariff or trade barrier they have on American goods. He promises to return the favor. But if they don't accept this deal, he is promising there will be penalties.

"We're like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing," he said at a news conference before leaving for his next summit in Singapore. "And that ends."

It's clear he's trying to fix the economy, and that's great. But are his methods and options only going to hurt the U.S. more? Will we end up with a worse economy and also lose our allies? Or could we possibly end up better off with the economy while still hurting our relationships with these other countries? 

Time will tell the answers to those questions, but in the meantime, it leaves the entire world in a state of uncertainty, makes his title of "the great negotiator" questionable, and makes it seem like his book titled "The Art of the Deal" isn't worth the paper it's printed on.




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