The title is the one question that I feel isn’t being answered in the whole kerfluffle about readmitting Russia into the G7 and Trudeau’s eyebrows. I’d like to discuss it.
Plenty of noise is being heard about Trump “alienating our allies” and “starting a trade war”. My own attitude is that our allies are generally a bunch of freeloading liabilities who have taken advantage of us for years. They don’t deserve any special consideration, certainly not to the point that American workers are losing their jobs on account of trade deficits with those allies. The sense I’ve had for several years is that the United States is generally taken for granted by the rest of the world, receives very little but criticism for what it does both good and bad, and should not do any more for other nations than is absolutely necessary for its own benefit.
America is making some long overdue changes to our foreign policy. It’s nothing personal, we’re just sick of everybody else’s shit. We want to either be allowed to sell our junk competitively in your countries or at least make sure that we have an advantage in selling other junk or buying your crap. For the moment, we’ll be nice and keep your sea lanes open, but don’t count on it for much longer. Whether you like it or not, it appears that my view is shared by the Trump Administration and that’s the way it’s going to be probably even after his term of office ends.
I get that Germany, Japan, the UK, and Canada etc are upset that the president we elected to do what he is doing is doing it, especially since we have been quietly allowing these sorts of lopsided arrangements for decades. But let’s say that the current trade agreements we have with our G7 partners are bad (which is hard as hell to determine). I don’t understand why anyone–particularly Americans–would think that we should accept it forever. Would anyone like to try to make that sale with me today?
It’s not that I’m heartless. Sure, I don’t care at all about the Germans, British, or Japanese but I do hate to see the Canadians getting kicked around. I still love you guys and hope you know that you are being screwed over by your own government’s dairy products tariff. Even though I’m all America First these days, I don’t think you should have to cross the border just to get cheap milk for your cornflakes or whatever you have for breakfast when you’re not eating round bacon.
Put aside for a moment the wisdom of how Trump is resolving our trade deficits (and yes, I know it’s sort of murky what the trade deficit with Canada is and I don’t even think there really is one) or the appropriateness of playing Trade War Chicken with the G6.
What I’d like is a real discussion about how fair or unfair our current trade deals really are. Additionally, does anyone have the opinion that even if they are unfair, is it something we should continue to ignore in favor of world stability or whatever?