Who’s the real free trader around here?

From America: A Prisoner of Our ‘Allies’. Hits the nail right on the head over tariffs, and much else beside.

The political class is screaming bloody murder over Trump’s performance at the G-7 meeting in Canada, where he reportedly spent most of the time detailing how much the US was paying for the defense of our vaunted “allies,” not to mention the high tariffs imposed on American goods. He then proposed a “free trade zone” in which member countries would drop all tariffs, subsidies, and other barriers to trade: the “allies” didn’t like that much, either. Nor did the alleged advocates of free trade here in the US give him any credit for ostensibly coming around to their point of view. Which reminds me of something Murray Rothbard said about this issue: “If authentic free trade ever looms on the policy horizon, there’ll be one sure way to tell. The government/media/big-business complex will oppose it tooth and nail.”

PDT is a specialist in uncovering hypocrisy and there’s plenty of it around.

[My thanks to Max for posting this in the comments on a previous thread.]

This entry was posted in American politics, Economics and economy, International. Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to Who’s the real free trader around here?

  1. RobK

    There’s no question; Trump has taken control of the dialogue, along with almost everything else. Leadership like no other in recent times. Refreshing. I wish him well.

  2. OneWorldGovernment

    Hopefully Trump will withdraw the USA from attending G7 communist meetings.

  3. BorisG

    There’s no question; Trump has taken control of the dialogue, There’s no question; Trump has taken control of the dialogue,

    sure he did. By shouting, bullying and insults.

    Leadership like no other in recent times.

    LOL. street bullying is not leadership.

  4. BorisG

    Hopefully Trump will withdraw the USA from attending G7 communist meetings.

    Maybe. It will make no difference. it is just a talking shop.

  5. Iampeter

    PDT is a specialist in uncovering hypocrisy and there’s plenty of it around.

    No he is just a political amteur surrounded by incompetent advisors from the republican party that are as inept as Trump is inexperienced and so his proposals ar econstant, random mess of contradictions.

    This is not something you celebrate like you seem to be doing, lol.

  6. J.H.

    The European citizenry are beginning to rebel against their political class over Immigration. On top of that, ecofascism and the welfare state is driving the EU broke, it’s energy policy is anti business, anti production and a subsidy pyramid scheme reeking of cronyism….. and Trump is telling the European political class and America’s own political class, that they have to change…. and they all hate him for it. Because he is right.

  7. billie

    He’s a bully, cried the bullies as Britain watches.

    Let’s see those tarifs folks, as Trump forces Europe to submit to a level playing field.

    This is great to watch, bullies being called out and Trump has nothing to lose and owes no one so the usual dealmaking no longer works or applies.

    He’s a cleanskin, in a game with thieves.

  8. David Brewer

    The great thing for me is how this exposes the futility and meaninglessness of G7 meetings in general.

    According to the world’s press, Trump tore up the international rule book, broke his promise to sign the communique, flipflopped on everything, and left the Western alliance in disarray.

    And this includes so-called “respectable” organs. The Financial Times today says “Trump Snubs at G7 summit leave closest allies in turmoil” and its editorial is “President Trump goes rogue at the G7”.

    Well, what a weekend in Canada, eh! Imagine the catastrophic impact on financial markets when they open on Monday. If any of it were true of course. In fact, the S and P just opened the week up a quarter of a per cent, with the dollar steady. It seems some FT readers know a lot better than FT journos what really counts in the world.

  9. RobK

    No he is just a political amteur surrounded by incompetent advisors from the republican party that are as inept as Trump is inexperienced and so his proposals ar econstant, random mess of contradictions.
    Peter, are you meaning the experts that have brought us the free trading EU subsidy fest, or the brilliant negotiators and advisors that have settled the on going middle east disputes, or the statesmen that have ended the Korean war. You seem very satisfied with patent failure and ineptitude…..as the norm.

  10. manalive

    The G7 as constituted is an anachronism, where’s China? And what’s 10th ranked Canada doing in there anyway.

  11. struth

    Notice again, the TDS sufferers provide nothing but name calling.
    They really have nothing to say.
    I am embarrassed for them.

  12. JohnA

    billie #2734408, posted on June 12, 2018, at 2:33 am

    He’s a bully, cried the bullies as Britain watches.

    Let’s see those tarifs folks, as Trump forces Europe to submit to a level playing field.

    This is great to watch, bullies being called out and Trump has nothing to lose and owes no one so the usual dealmaking no longer works or applies.

    He’s a cleanskin, in a game with thieves.

    Indeed, he reminds me of the comedies we love where the local hero card sharp meets the out of town heavy muscle and takes them to the cleaners by hiding his skill as an ingenue. The Phil Silvers Show was one of those, where Sgt Bilko rescued the funds of one of his crew from the clutches of the blow-in card sharps.

    Bullies need one good solid beating up to expose their weakness.

  13. Shy Ted

    The inside gossip is they just finished playing musical chairs. There can only be one winner.

  14. You know that Trump is winning when the snowflakes start melting.

  15. Biota

    If Trump felt insecure he would have stood up. The fact that he just sat there shows the opposite.

  16. FelixKruell

    Nor did the alleged advocates of free trade here in the US give him any credit for ostensibly coming around to their point of view.

    Why on earth would they think that he has come around to their point of view? Trump has made it clear you can’t trust what he says, because he will change it at a whim, or to different audiences. His populist talk about Tariffs over the past 12 months has not been consistent with aiming for complete free trade.

  17. struth

    Why on earth would they think that he has come around to their point of view? Trump has made it clear you can’t trust what he says, because he will change it at a whim, or to different audiences. His populist talk about Tariffs over the past 12 months has not been consistent with aiming for complete free trade.

    Prove it.

  18. Entropy

    I speculate Trump doesn’t care I e way or the other. He would take true free trade, but isn’t stupid enough to think that current arrangements bear any relationship to free trade. He also sees the EU for what it is, and doesn’t take Canada seriously. Why would anyone?

  19. Egor

    The pretend free traders aren’t going to like this:

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/06/11/president-trump-leads-the-great-trade-awakening/

    “One of the greatest gifts President Trump provides through his policy discussion(s) is an awakening to how much U.S. voter perspective has been driven by constructed fallacy.”

  20. I’d love to know what it is that Trump has done, or not done, that causes some to spew such vitriol. He’s been accused of just about everything bad under the sun, yet I haven’t seen anything that justifies that vitriol.

  21. Habib

    Trump should pull the plug on all parasites, including us.

  22. FelixKruell

    Struth:

    “The Germans are bad, very bad,” Trump told EU officials in a closed-door meeting, according to a report in the German newspaper Der Spiegel. “Look at the millions of cars that they sell in the U.S. Terrible. We’re going to stop that.”

    Sound like pro-free trade to you? Doesn’t even sound pro-trade!

  23. Stimpson J. Cat

    Trump raises eyebrows, Trudeau loses them.
    It’s a study in contrasts.

  24. OldOzzie

    ‘Sitting Bull in a china shop’: G-7 photo is latest attempt to embarrass Trump, latest failure

    Call it “Sitting Bull in a china shop.”

    A stunning picture. Live. Real. Raw. Tense. Wit’s end fury.

    At the focal point in the picture: Total calm.

    Arms crossed, suit-coat slightly rumpled. Seated. Eyes open, passive, unseeing. Mouth set contentedly.

    President Trump, leader of the free world, G-1, sits in a room surrounded by utterly powerless and exhausted G-6, like weary parents whose child has gone through all 17 stages of an airport meltdown tantrum and has — finally — decided to just sit on the floor.

    Arms crossed. Unmovable.

    Vintage Donald Trump.

    The picture — dispatched to the world by a fed up German diplomat inside the Canadian china shoppe — is marvelous for so many reasons. Not the least of which is that it’s the latest attempt by Mr. Trump’s detractors desperate to embarrass him — only to have it backfire.

  25. OldOzzie

    United Steelworkers: Metals tariffs are crucial to national security

    The Trump administration’s steel tariffs are intended to staunch the flow of rust from closed American steel mills. The aluminum tariffs are designed to halt the rapid shuttering of American aluminum smelters.

    Tens of thousands of steel and aluminum workers have lost their jobs over the past five years as subsidized metal from China glutted the world market, artificially forcing down prices.

    The tariffs are not, however, a simple job-preservation measure. President Trump levied them to try to secure sufficient domestic production capacity of these vital metals for defense — for planes and tanks and for critical infrastructure.

  26. Up The Workers!

    I take it that neither the Trumpster, nor Prime Minister Abe are real big fans of sauerkraut – especially when it is served with a side-dish of scrawny frogs legs and under-cooked escargots (and a garnish of a prosthetic eyebrow or two)!

    Whilst sauerkraut, frogs legs and escargot may well be served hot, revenge is a dish best served cold…as some may yet learn to their cost.

    One should always be mindful never to trod on the toe of an elephant, because if the elephant ever decides to muck your nest in revenge, they can deliver a helluva big load of muck!

  27. Up The Workers!

    Justin Trudeaup and his prosthetic eyebrows.

    All “ass”; no “gravit”!

  28. struth

    Struth:

    “The Germans are bad, very bad,” Trump told EU officials in a closed-door meeting, according to a report in the German newspaper Der Spiegel. “Look at the millions of cars that they sell in the U.S. Terrible. We’re going to stop that.”

    Sound like pro-free trade to you? Doesn’t even sound pro-trade!

    Good point, stupid.
    Go to Europe and see how many american cars are driving down the autobahns.
    SFA.
    The point exactly.
    This is reciprocal, not initiated by the U.S.A. first.

    What is it you exactly have against fair trade, you throbber?

  29. FelixKruell

    Struth:

    You don’t sound like you believe in the benefits of trade then, let alone free trade? Fair trade is something made up by the left.

    It doesn’t matter how many cars the US sells in Germany. Both countries can benefit from Germany selling lots of cars in the US. It’s pretty basic economics.

    We should be arguing for both countries to remove the small tariffs they still have on each other’s cars, to maximise that benefit. But that’s not what Trump was arguing for. He was arguing for less trade.

  30. Up The Workers!

    Who says that the disparity between German car sales in America and American car sales in Germany, isn’t evidence of “free trade”?

    Given a choice between buying a state-of-the-art Mercedes, Audi or BMW on the one hand, or some barge-like Yank tank that wobbles around like a madwoman’s mammaries and screeches tyres while doing 5 kmh on a dirt road, I’d take the Krautmobile every time.

    Trump’s bluster is just that. It’s just his standard opening negotiating ploy, or in Union terms, an “ambit claim”.

  31. Iampeter

    I love how a thread showing Trump changing his positions on a whim requires proof that he changes his positions on a whim.
    Also I love Trump supporters who are for tariffs when Trump is and then are gloatingly pro-free trade when Trump randomly changes his mind.

    Why its almost like you don’t know anything about the subject and in the absence of your own ideas are just going with whatever dear leader says.

  32. struth

    We should be arguing for both countries to remove the small tariffs they still have on each other’s cars, to maximise that benefit. But that’s not what Trump was arguing for. He was arguing for less trade.

    Don’t be silly now, calm down.
    At this very G7 conference, he was the one to suggest the abolition of all tariffs.
    No one else did.
    Funny about that.
    It does hurt your economy if you cannot sell into a country as much as tarriffs hurt importing, and this does not want to be recognised by lefties when it’s the USA pushing for a level playing field.

    It doesn’t matter how many cars the US sells in Germany. Both countries can benefit from Germany selling lots of cars in the US. It’s pretty basic economics.

    This statement is only correct when it’s a free market.
    WHICH IT ISN’T, you fucking dunderheads.
    They have tariffs up against the yanks.
    FMD.

    So if the yanks produce a car cheaper than the Germans, should the Germans be able to access the car (or whatever it is) at the price without interference by government adding cost.
    Of course they should.
    Is that the case now?
    NO.
    So this hurts the Germans, but it also hurts the yanks who build or supply the product.
    Therefore they make less money to be able to buy other stuff around the world.
    EU tariffs hurt Americans selling their goods.
    There is a reason that the leaders of Europe are up in arms about the RETALIATORY tariffs Trump is threatening them with.
    If it was going to be only a disaster for the States, they would be laughing and saying go ahead.

    Your arguments show a complete lack of understanding of the real world.
    Are you a libertarian?

  33. Can you imagine how the MSM, Hollywood etc would be besides themselves with joy and adulation had Obama achieved half of what Trumps has achieved so far?

  34. FelixKruell

    Struth:

    This statement is only correct when it’s a free market.

    No, it isn’t. Plenty of studies have shown the benefits of unilateral tariff reductions.

    My point was that the German car comment was made well BEFORE the G7 summit. And he said nothing about free trade. He objected to the trade of german cars, full stop. Not the tariffs on US cars. The import of german cars (which actually are largely domestically made).

    Now at the G7 he suggests free trade. That’s why no-one took his suggestion seriously. He can’t keep his own lines consistent.

  35. struth

    No, it isn’t. Plenty of studies have shown the benefits of unilateral tariff reductions.

    I’ll take your last comment as the apology it is.

    The above sentence is irrelevant to the subject at hand, because I agree that zero tariffs are the way to go.

    Not one sided tariffs because they don’t only hurt the consumer but also the selling country.
    A fact lefties like to forget if the selling country is a socialist, subsidised shithole selling into the states, then the states should put no barriers up, but they should keep theirs!!!!!!!!!

  36. I asked this once before, but received crickets so, once again, what country/countries in the world have no tariffs?

  37. NB

    I hope no-one thinks to put too much of a tariff on popcorn.

  38. Saw a stat today that EU tariffs on US goods average out at 3%. You can cherry pick higher figures but that is very low overall.

    Trump is blustering with no understanding of the facts, as usual. Sad!

  39. Habib

    Both countries can benefit from Germany selling lots of cars in the US. It’s pretty basic economics. Only if free of market distortions. The EU is a cesspit of crony capitalism, trade restrictions, bizarre charges, levys and charges, and cretinous regulation and market manipulation. Brussels should be nuked.

  40. Snoopy

    Saw a stat today that EU tariffs on US goods average out at 3%. You can cherry pick higher figures but that is very low overall.

    Without acknowledging subsidies and non tariff barriers who is cherry picking, Monty?

  41. struth

    Saw a stat today that EU tariffs on US goods average out at 3%.

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    You moron

  42. Habib

    Given a choice between buying a state-of-the-art Mercedes, Audi or BMW on the one hand, or some barge-like Yank tank that wobbles around like a madwoman’s mammaries and screeches tyres while doing 5 kmh on a dirt road, I’d take the Krautmobile every time. You’ve been watching far too much Top Gear.

    I’ve got a Cadillac STS and a Chev Blazer, and they shit all over their hun, frog and pom competition- as good as a Jap car even. The Caddy held the lap record on the Nürburgring for a 4 door sedan when released, also had the most powerful stereo (Bose) ever fitted to a production car. Had an M3 for a brieg while, one of the worst cars I’ve ever owned, a complete heap of shit. Even the ’70s Triumphs I’ve had weren’t as shoddily built and unreliable. Same for my brothers Porsches and Mercs, ditto the MoW’s A class, an awful car, worse than a modern Peugeot. The quality of eurobombs is a myth.

  43. struth

    Given a choice between buying a state-of-the-art Mercedes, Audi or BMW on the one hand, or some barge-like Yank tank that wobbles around like a madwoman’s mammaries and screeches tyres while doing 5 kmh on a dirt road, I’d take the Krautmobile every time.

    Let’s go with that.
    let’s skew the market because one individual likes over engineered eurocrap with a 2 year life span because of the crap on them from brand new.

  44. Habib

    My brother had a Cayman for a while, went on a lengthy sulk when I smoked it in an R33 GTS (not even a GTR) I had at the time. It cost me about $1500 at the auctions at Tokyo.

  45. FelixKruell

    Struth:

    The above sentence is irrelevant to the subject at hand, because I agree that zero tariffs are the way to go.

    Not one sided tariffs because they don’t only hurt the consumer but also the selling country.
    A fact lefties like to forget if the selling country is a socialist, subsidised shithole selling into the states, then the states should put no barriers up, but they should keep theirs!!!!!!!!!

    You do realise unilateral tariff reductions and one sided tariffs are the same thing, right?

    But back to the topic – do you now acknowledge that Trump has been inconsistent in his supposed support of free trade?

    Or put another way – if the EU agreed to remove all automotive tariffs tomorrow, would Trump still be moaning about the number of german cars on New York streets? I’d bet yes…

  46. struth

    Or put another way – if the EU agreed to remove all automotive tariffs tomorrow, would Trump still be moaning about the number of german cars on New York streets? I’d bet yes…

    You’d lose your money.
    That’s why he suggested zero tariffs.

  47. FelixKruell

    That’s why he suggested zero tariffs.

    He also suggested banning german cars, using national security (not tariffs) as the reason. Which of his suggestions will you believe next?

  48. struth

    What makes you think Trump wants anymore than a fair deal?
    He talks of putting up tariffs against those who ALREADY HAVE TARRIFFS UP against the USA.

    This little bit of information is harder to get through to some people than it is to get Monty to eat his vegetables.

  49. struth

    He also suggested banning german cars, using national security (not tariffs) as the reason. Which of his suggestions will you believe next?

    Do the EU have tarriffs up?
    Er, Yes.
    What part of this are you finding hard?

  50. He also suggested banning german cars, using national security (not tariffs) as the reason. Which of his suggestions will you believe next?

    President Donald Trump is hoping to effectively ban sales of Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and other German cars, according to reports from a German magazine.

    A report in WirtschaftsWoche cites unnamed diplomatic sources who say Trump told French president Emmanuel Macron he would maintain his trade policy “until no Mercedes models rolled on Fifth Avenue in New York.” – http://fortune.com/2018/05/31/trump-mercedes-benz-german-car-ban/

    So. Unnamed sources. Reportedly said. Sources close to Macron.

  51. Jannie

    That “painting” is a con. A rewrite of history.

    It has taken out Trump’s confident emerging smile and made him look stubborn. It also takes out Merkel’s incipient fear and made her look confident.

  52. FelixKruell

    bemused:

    Did you miss the part where Trump himself said he wanted to stop seeing German cars in New York?

    And he used the national security excuse for the steel tariffs.

  53. FelixKruell

    Struth:

    Do the EU have tarriffs up?
    Er, Yes.
    What part of this are you finding hard?

    The part where that is relevant – that’s what I’m finding hard.

    Trump’s sole measure of whether current trade settings are fair appears to be whether the US sells more to Country A than Country A sells to the US. Not the level of tariffs – that only comes up sporadically. He’s anti-trade, if you believe his statements.

  54. FelixKruell
    #2734902, posted on June 12, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Did you miss the part where Trump himself said he wanted to stop seeing German cars in New York?

    Provide a link to a video so that I can actually hear him saying this. Until then, it’s more fake news.

  55. FelixKruell

    Let’s see what he said on twitter – will that do for you?

    Car companies and others, if they want to do business in our country, have to start making things here again. WIN!

    Doesn’t sound very pro-trade, does it? Let alone free-trade.

    Then there was this interview he gave:

    “If you want to build cars in the world, then I wish you all the best. You can build cars for the United States, but for every car that comes to the USA, you will pay 35 percent tax,” Trump said in remarks translated into German.

    Just because you don’t like what he says, doesn’t make it fake news.

  56. JC

    He’s anti-trade, if you believe his statements.

    I’d agree with that. He seems to have a blind spot about trade. He should stop looking at the trade deficit and focus on the capital account surplus – the mirror image of the trade account. When he reads the word “surplus” he will feel better about things. 🙂

    The Commerce sec is the worst appointment of his presidency. Wilbur Ross really is an economic illiterate.

  57. RobK

    “until no Mercedes models rolled on Fifth Avenue in New York.”
    Some models of Merc are made in the US.

  58. Hey! Something went awry and things are grim.

    What I said:

    Let’s see what he said on twitter – will that do for you?

    So typical, always misquoting, misinforming, lying about what has actually been stated (fake news).

    Note your new quotes, not one provides any validity to what you previously quoted.

    And how about a link to those Twitter quotes, since you appear to be so well informed?

  59. FelixKruell

    So typical, always misquoting, misinforming, lying about what has actually been stated (fake news).

    It was a direct quote. From his twitter.

    https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/820632299037409280?lang=en

    Is Trump’s twitter now fake news too? It’s hard to keep up…

  60. It was a direct quote. From his twitter.

    https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/820632299037409280?lang=en

    Is Trump’s twitter now fake news too? It’s hard to keep up…

    Are you really that dumb (that’s a rhetorical question; you’re a Leftist and therefore you are that dumb)? I was referring to the earlier quote of yours about getting rid of all German cars in New York.

    And you’re quoting stuff from Jan 2017? Trump has now been POTUS for how many days? Achieved how much? Nice, huh?

  61. Without acknowledging subsidies and non tariff barriers who is cherry picking, Monty?

    Like I said, there is zero chance that Trump is going to shaft Iowa by dropping corn subsidies, so he has no credibility attacking other countries for propping up their primary industries.

  62. FelixKruell

    I was referring to the earlier quote of yours about getting rid of all German cars in New York.

    Well be specific, before you call other people dumb. I provided a lot of quotes. And I’m pro trade, and pro-free trade. That used to make me of the right. Now it seems to make me of the left?

    That particular quote was from an article a few weeks back, rather than twitter:

    A report in WirtschaftsWoche cites unnamed diplomatic sources who say Trump told French president Emmanuel Macron he would maintain his trade policy “until no Mercedes models rolled on Fifth Avenue in New York.” The trade policy would seemingly affect any German automaker, though, putting sales of Porsche and Volkswagen (and its Audi luxury division) at risk as well as Daimler.

    Either way, Trump seems to object to imports of German cars into the US, regardless of whether there are tariffs on US cars in Europe. He’s anti-trade.

    This is a comment on Trump’s position on trade. Not his overall achievements. If that’s your only retort, it says something.

  63. Well be specific, before you call other people dumb.

    No apologies. You’re a Leftist dumb fcuk. Quoting ‘unnamed diplomatic sources’ is like the dumb fcuks at CNN.

    And talking about dumb fcuks, your mates at another fake news outlet are already calling the meeting in Singapore a distraction from the ‘Russian’ investigation: http://dailycaller.com/2018/06/11/msnbc-guest-north-korea-meeting-distraction/.

    Get a life.

  64. FelixKruell

    The quote is from people in the meeting. Sure, take it with a grain of salt. But it’s consistent with Trump’s earlier twitter posts. I think that gives it some credibility.

    You seem wholly uninterested in free trade, bemused.

    You’re a little to the left of the ALP on that. But the Greens will welcome you with open arms.

  65. Tel

    … there is zero chance that Trump is going to shaft Iowa by dropping corn subsidies …

    Congress decides corn subsidies, there’s nothing Trump can do, nor is it his job.

  66. You’re a little to the left of the ALP on that. But the Greens will welcome you with open arms.

    Given your name, you appear to be a European correspondent, so here’s a YouTube channel that might just educate you about how Australians feel about you and your views:.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-wBAxgUX9P0fXZ6-D0frRA/videos

    You’re welcome.

  67. Rob Carruthers

    Australia, the lucky country, to get lucky again? Trump’s put agricultural subsidies firmly back on the tariff reduction agenda. He has done more awareness raising in a two-minute tweet than Australia’s bureaucrats and politicians managed through decades of diplomacy.

    Think of the boon to Australia if agricultural barriers are hugely reduced. For his work on North Korea and Tariff’s, Trump warrants an order of Australia:

    “Honorary appointments in the Order of Australia may be made to people who are not Australian citizens where they have given extraordinary service to Australia or humanity at large.”

    Can you imagine the apoplexy of the ABC and Fairfax commentariat?

  68. Felix Kruell

    Not a reader huh bemused? What a surprise

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