At the G7 Trump said he is all for free trade while threatening to end trade altogether. Here's a G7 Who's Who.
- Donald Trump, US president
- John Bolton, US national security adviser
- Shinzo Abe, Japan prime minister
- Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japanese deputy chief cabinet secretary
- Angela Merkel, German chancellor
- Emmanuel Macron, French president
- Theresa May, UK prime minister
- Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council
Packed Room Image
Tweet by French President Emmanuel Macron
Robbed Piggy Bank
“We’re like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing,” Trump said at a press conference shortly before leaving the gathering of the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Japan. “It’s going to stop now or we’ll stop trading with them (other nations).”
Trump Calls For End to Tariffs and Trade Barriers
Briefing reporters before he left the town of La Malbaie, in Quebec province, Mr Trump denied that the G7 summit had been contentious.
"No tariffs, no barriers. That's the way it should be. And no subsidies. I even said, 'no tariffs'," the US president said, describing his meetings with fellow Group of Seven leaders as positive "on the need to have fair and reciprocal trade".
"The United States has been taken advantage of for decades and decades," he continued, describing America as a "piggy bank that everyone keeps robbing".
Angered by the high steel and aluminium tariffs, Canada, Mexico and the EU have all said they are all planning retaliatory measures.
President Trump warned against such moves, calling it a "mistake" and said if it gets as far as a trade war, then the US would "win that war a thousand times out of a thousand".
Sticking points also remain in the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) renegotiations between Canada, the US and Mexico, despite it being a key topic during the bilateral meeting between Mr Trump and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau.
The American leader said a three-country deal would only be possible with substantial changes, and reiterated his interest instead in forming separate two-way trade accords with Mexico and Canada - an interest Canada has made clear it does not share.
With divisions over trade laid bare, it still unclear whether a communique agreed by each G7 member will be released when the summit concludes later on Saturday.
A G7 statement is not out yet. It's easy to guess what it will say. "The meeting was productive blah blah blah. We all agree on the need to reduce trade barriers blah blah."
Left unsaid will be the implied "You first." No one will volunteer.
Piggy Bank Nonsense
Meanwhile, it is to the decided advantage of the US to get cheap steel, cheal aluminum, and chief stuff in general.
That statement holds true no matter what any other nation does. Only fools dislike free stuff. If China really is providing the the US with goods below cost, that is to the definite advantage of the US to the detriment of China.
Jobs at Risk
There are about 6.5 million workers at manufacturers that use a lot of steel, but only 140,000 steelworkers, says Moody’s.
To protect 140,000 steel manufacturing jobs, Trump is willing to put 6.5 million workers at risk.
How stupid is that?
It's so stupid US Steelworkers do not even support Trump's latest play with Mexico and Canada.
I posted five charts and a few Tweets on this theme in Three US Tire-Chord Makers Threaten to Close Doors Due to Trump Tariffs.
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By the way, this setup is eerily similar to events leading up to the start of WWI. For discussion, please see Europe's Nationalism and Trump's Trade Policies Look Like WWI Prelude.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock