Trade Wars Are Destructive. Of Course Trump Wants One.

.. as with so many other policies he has supported, he appears to have little understanding of this one.

.. Many White House aides, including Mr. Trump’s chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, appeared to be caught off guard by the decision; on Wednesday, Mr. Cohn had warned that he might resign if Mr. Trump went through with the tariff plan.

.. The stock market fell sharply after the announcement because investors feared that the move was the first of several that could result in escalating disputes

.. The steel and aluminum tariffs are ostensibly aimed at punishing China, which has been driving down prices for those commodities by producing far more metal than the world can use. But Mr. Trump’s move will have a limited effect on China because much of the steel and aluminum the United States imports actually comes from allies like Canada, Brazil, South Korea and Mexico.

.. the move could hurt American businesses that use these metals, including auto and construction companies

.. If Mr. Trump were truly interested in getting China to reduce its excess production, he would have worked with the European Union, Canada, Japan, South Korea and other countries to put pressure on Beijing. Those nations tend to be closely aligned with the United States and have also been hurt by China’s mercantilist economic policies.

.. threatening to retaliate forcefully against the new Trump tariffs. They could do so by bringing cases against the United States at the World Trade Organization, or by doing what Mr. Trump did and unilaterally imposing new tariffs on American exports like soybeans and Boeing planes.

.. Canada imports more American Steel than it exports to the United States, giving it the ability to hurt the very industry Mr. Trump claims to want to help.

.. Chrystia Freeland, says Canada buys about half of American steel exports.

.. for every new job at a steel mill or aluminum smelter that is created by this trade decision, the country could lose as many or more jobs at businesses that use those metals, which will now cost more. This is one of the reasons that trade wars are, in fact, not easy to win.

.. Mr. Trump clearly sees trade as a zero-sum game.

.. He and some of his most protectionist advisers, including Peter Navarro, think that if China and Mexico sell the United States more things than they import from America, they are winning.

 

A Defense of Evangelicals Who Support Trump 

Ross Douthat, a New York Times columnist, wrote: “Whether the subject is the debauched pagan in the White House, the mall-haunted candidacy of Roy Moore or the larger question of how to engage with secular culture, there is talk of an intergenerational crisis within evangelical churches, a widening disillusionment with a Trump-endorsing old guard, a feeling that a crackup must loom ahead.”

Jared Wilson wrote on the Gospel Coalition’s website: “From the same believers who raised us to believe that standing for the truth was more important than anything, that being persecuted for your integrity was better than compromise, that morality was not relative, that ethics are not situational. And now these same teachers are wanting us to believe that a little ‘R’ by a man’s name covers a multitude of sins.”

.. Robert P. Jones wrote in USA Today: “White Evangelicals . . . are, in many ways, a community grieving its losses. . . . Thinking about the white evangelical/Trump alliance as an end-of-life bargain is illuminating. It helps explain, for example, how white evangelical leaders could ignore so many problematic aspects of Trump’s character.”

.. I believe these attacks are not biblical, moral, or wise. Religious Christians and Jews who support Trump understand that the character of a public leader is quite often less important than his policies. This is so obvious that only the naïve think otherwise. Character is no predictor of political leadership on behalf of moral causes. I wish it were. Then, in any political contest, we would simply have to determine who the better person is and vote accordingly.

.. If you are conservative, religious or secular, would you vote for Jimmy Carter over Donald Trump?

.. Do you believe that Hillary Clinton has a finer character than Donald Trump? For the record, I believe his character is superior to hers.

.. Whom should pro-Israel voters support: an anti-Israel activist of fine character or a pro-Israel activist of dubious character?

.. If they were to have cancer, would any of the Evangelicals’ critics choose an oncologist based on character? If not, why not?

.. One of the few moral heroes of the Holocaust was the German industrialist and member of the Nazi party Oskar Schindler. He personally saved more than a thousand Jews’ lives. He was also a serial philanderer. I suspect many leading Nazis never cheated on their wives. Character is a complex issue.

.. Evangelicals realize that the moral good of defeating the Left is of surpassing importance. It can feel good to oppose the president, but religious supporters of the president are more interested in doing good than feeling good. On issue after issue —

  • religious liberty,
  • the unborn,
  • Israel,
  • he American flag, and
  • free speech,

to cite just a few — the president and religious Americans have made common cause.

.. Like Evangelicals, I look to the Bible for moral instruction. I also look for wisdom. And in that book, God chooses, of all people, a prostitute (Rahab) to enable the Israelites to enter the Promised Land. There’s a lesson there.