The conservative Wall Street Journal’s editorial page on Friday published a scathing editorial attacking President Donald Trump’s decision to slap key American allies with hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum.
“So much for Donald Trump as genius deal-maker,” the editorial begins. “We are supposed to believe his tariff threats are a clever negotiation strategy, but on Thursday he revealed he’s merely an old-fashioned protectionist.”
The editorial goes on to slam the president for hitting Canada, the European Union and Mexico with tariffs, as those countries are now announcing retaliatory tariffs of their own.
And in what might be a first for the Journal’s editorial page, the editors find themselves far more sympathetic toward a Liberal Canadian prime minister than toward a Republican American president.
“Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that he recently offered to visit the White House to close a Nafta deal,” the editors write. “But Vice President Mike Pence told him he’d have to accept a five-year Nafta sunset. Mr. Trudeau rightly said no Canadian leader would agree to such a self-defeating provision.”
The editorial closes by warning Trump that starting a trade war with key allies could very well undermine the strength of the economy that he has frequently touted as a benefit of his presidency.
“Mr. Trump has been establishing a solid economic record with tax cuts and deregulation, but his escalating trade war puts that at risk,” they write. “He aspires to be Ronald Reagan but his tariff folly echoes of Herbert Hoover.”