That’s why President Trump says trade wars are easy to win. They’re easier for us to win, not the other guy. Because the United States of America has the cards.
No foreign power has ever threatened our borders, or ever will. Our military superiority and reach are vastly superior to the rest of the world. With the fracking revolution, we are effectively a continental autarky, economically self -sufficient, if need be. With our navy we totally control the western hemisphere. Our standard of living would decline without international trade, but we could ride it out.
Trump is the first President of the postwar era who not only understands that he holds all the high cards, he’s eager to exploit his advantage on his country’s behalf. No more sweetheart deals with the USA. If any policy, trade or otherwise, in not in our national self interest, it will be discarded.
And then there’s what you might call the President’s Trump Card — he’s considered just crazy enough to do damn near anything. So you’d better make a deal, than see what he’d do if you didn’t. Trump is capable of anything, he’s a wild card. A good card to hold, as Richard Nixon liked to say.
Someone in the European Union is threatening to put tariffs on Jack Daniels and Harley-Davidsons. I’m sure Trump is shaking in his boots.
Come November the large majority of Americans will have suffered no adverse consequences from these tariffs. But some Americans, in the industrial Midwest, will have received a substantial benefit. And blue collar workers, of all races and regions, will want more of the same.
These people elected Trump. He’s just dancing with the one who brung him.