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2019-06-11 18:18:021 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Donald Trump (Image source: Public domain)
With the bragging rights to the new U.S.-Mexico immigration deal behind him after initiating it with a tariff threat, Trump moved back to an old adversary and tried the same tactic on them, threatening them with tariffs.
The problem is, there wasn't an immigration deal with Mexico, at least not according to Mexico. Additionally, there are reports that the deal Trump was bragging about was actually negotiated months ago by former Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen
Yet, because he was riding high on his assumed threat-turned-deal, he used the same tactic. In an interview with CNBC, he announced he was "scheduled to have a meeting" with Chinese leader Xi Jinping during the Osaka, Japan, Group of 20 summit.
He threatened that if Xi doesn't meet with him at the meeting, he will set tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports. This would include many consumer products.
"China is going to make a deal because they are going to have to make a deal," said the president.
"We do not want a trade war, but we are not afraid of fighting one," said a spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Geng Shuang.
"If the U.S. is ready to have equal consultations, our door is wide open. But if it insists on escalating trade frictions, we will respond to it with resolution and perseverance."
Trump doesn't have many in his corner who are in favor of tariff threats. Not only has he been taken to task by the Democrats, but even Republicans are against tariffs, Yet, he keeps at it.
"Tariffs are a beautiful thing when you are the piggy bank," he said.
The president keeps returning to what he has long complained about, an imbalance in trade that is not favorable to the U.S. He believes if it was re-balanced, that it would create more jobs. That's one reason he is focusing on Mexico and China — he wants to force companies to move from those countries back to the United States.
The impromptu telephone interview appeared to be a response to an earlier segment that appeared on CNBC when a U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive criticized Trump's tariff threat to Mexico last week. The president ended up calling off the threat, stating it was because a deal had been struck, but Mexico claims there is no deal.
Along with beating his chest to celebrate his deal that Mexico says doesn't exist, Trump also criticized the Federal Reserve, noting that Xi has more control of China's central bank than he has over the Fed.
"Our Fed is very, very destructive to us," he said. "They haven't listened to me." He does not believe they should have raised interest rates last year.
Trump continued to boast about his Mexico deal, insisting the one reason Mexico officials agreed to make changes to immigration laws is because of his tariff threat.
"They didn't even respect us," he said. "They couldn't even believe how stupid we were."
In the past he has imposed large penalties on $250 billion of Chinese imports. He believes China unfairly subsidizes its companies, stealing from the U.S. and U.S. companies and businesses with an import and export distortion.
While China had agreed to negotiate the trade relationship with the U.S., White House officials said weeks ago that China was backpedaling, which led to Trump hyping up the tariffs again.
This looks to be one of the many problems in electing a man as president who has no foreign policy and no experience as a public official. He does not know how to create good foreign policy. While he desperately wants to get rid of the Obama footprint, he has no idea how to do it.
Trump's only recourse is to go back to what he knows, and that's the business world. However, even that appears to have not worked well. With his refusal to release his taxes and finances, the little that has been exposed publicly shows that he has lied about his finances, has been in great debt, and has borrowed large amounts of money.
He doesn't know how to sit at the bargaining table to create good foreign policy and does not know how to turn a company, or a country, from being in the red to being in the black. He only knows how to steal, lie, and make threats. And that can be seen in his moves with Mexico and China the past few weeks.
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