Washington Post columnist Henry Olsen had a warning for corporations pretending everything will be fine after President Donald Trump ends his trade war. According to Olsen, the only people Trump treats worse than his enemies are his friends.
During a “Fox & Friends” interview last week, Trump was asked about anti-Trump Republican George Conway. The president casually said that his wife Kellyanne “must have done some bad things to him because that guy is crazy.”
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro got the same treatment. After running like Trump in his own election and praising the American leader, Bolsonaro’s rude awakening came when Trump tweeted he was reinstating tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Brazil and Argentina
Olsen explained it didn’t seem as if the Latin American countries knew it was coming.
Bolsonaro seemed “taken by surprise,” Olsen described when the press asked him about the decision. He said he’d “call Trump,” and he has “an open channel with him.”
Olsen went on to call Trump “far too obsessed” with the agriculture community, saying in his tweet that the tariffs were because Brazil and Argentina are weakening their currencies, “which is not good for our farmers.”
…..Reserve should likewise act so that countries, of which there are many, no longer take advantage of our strong dollar by further devaluing their currencies. This makes it very hard for our manufactures & farmers to fairly export their goods. Lower Rates & Loosen – Fed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2019
Neither steel nor aluminum is grown by farmers. Such tariffs would impact builders and the manufacturing sector far more.
“But what about the U.S. firms that import steel or aluminum from these countries, in part because they had been exempted from prior tariffs while steel and aluminum from China was not?” asked Olsen. “They will now have a significant price hike in a key input material and might have to again switch their source countries, something that takes time and costs money. Don’t they deserve consideration, too?”
It adds to the long line of strange policy announcements via tweet that the markets and allied countries must face when Trump wakes up each morning.
“Trump is flying to London today to meet with our 28 NATO allies. After this debacle, many world leaders are surely dreading his arrival, wondering whether a similar fate awaits them after he lands,” Olsen closed.