A former campaign advisor to Donald Trump attempted to put a positive spin on the president’s abrupt proposal to levy massive tariffs on steel and aluminum only to have a CNN host pour cold water on the plan by reminding him Trump’s targets won’t be the only affected.
Appearing on CNN, Steve Cortes, who serves on Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council, made the case that “Tariffs are to national trade policy what the military is to diplomacy.”
“Military is not worth anything if you’re not willing to use it, “Cortes continued. “There are times that you have to in trade. There are times you just can’t threaten tariffs, you have to use them.”
Cortes went on to attempt to make the case that the tariffs — which will adversely impact Canada, Brazil, Germany, Turkey and the United Emirates — are needed to rein in Trump’s main target: China.
“America has been abused for decades in international trade,” Cortes elaborated. “We don’t have reciprocity, we don’t have fairness, and we get our intellectual property stolen, particularly when it comes to China. So this is the first salvo of America saying ‘We’re not taking this anymore.’ We’ll use tariffs as a punitive measure.”
A patient John Berman waited until Cortes stop rambling to jump in and blow a hole in the conservative’s argument.
“That seems like an odd way of getting back at China by slapping Canada,” he mused.
“He’s going to abuse the heck out of Canada for transgressions he sees China doing there,” he lectured. “And this morning, among other things, he said there was a trade deficit with Canada. Well, you know, U.S. statistics show that in 2015, 2016, there was a trade surplus with Canada right now.”
A grim-faced Cortes shrugged, then moved on to stating Democrats are also divided on the tariffs depending on which state they represent.
Watch the video below via CNN: