Trump’s Tariffs Prompt Global Threats of Retaliation

The European Union detailed a three-step plan to penalize $3.5 billion of American trade — the same amount of European steel and aluminum the bloc estimates would be harmed by the planned tariffs. It proposed taxing American exports including bourbon, bluejeans, orange juice, cranberries, rice and motorcycles.

A European Union official said that the bloc had been preparing for the announcement for months and that everything was in place for a swift, proportionate response.

.. The measures were intended to put pressure on politically sensitive areas, trade analysts said. Harley-Davidson motorcycles are made in the home district of Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin. Orange juice comes from the swing state of Florida. Restrictions on Kentucky bourbon could add pressure on the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who is from the state.

.. Retaliation could hit hardest in many of the rural communities that were strongholds for Mr. Trump. Farmers are among America’s largest exporters, and often become a target in trade spats

.. She said the agricultural community was “rightly nervous” about the prospect.

.. Canada and Mexico were America’s No. 1 and No. 3 largest agricultural markets in 2016, and South Korea is a major market for beef, corn, pork and fresh fruit

.. The United States exports cotton to Turkey and wheat and dairy to Brazil, other major suppliers of steel.

.. Peter Navarro, a top White House trade adviser, said he did not believe any country would retaliate, “for the simple reason that we are the most lucrative and biggest market in the world.”

“They know they’re cheating us, and all we’re doing is standing up for ourselves,” he added.

.. if the United States was willing to impose penalties like these on its close trading partners, other countries would be less eager to negotiate trade deals with the United States. “What is the benefit of having a special relationship?” he asked. “I think there could be a lot of unintended and unforeseen consequences.”

Why does Trump keep making promises he can’t keep? The secret lies in his past.

the location provided a vivid case study in the dangers Trump will face as time goes on. This early in his presidency, he can still talk about the glittering future he’ll deliver. But at some point, he’ll have to reckon with what his policies have actually done and failed to do.

Trump is applying to governing the same theory that worked quite well for him in his business career. But the rules have already changed for him.

.. the Republican health-care bill will save Americans from the catastrophe of the Affordable Care Act. But it’s an odd thing to say in Kentucky, which may have fared better than any other state under the ACA. The state accepted the law’s expansion of Medicaid and saw an additional 443,000 of its citizens — a full 10 percent of the state’s population — get health coverage at no cost. The state also launched its own ACA exchange, Kynect, which was one of the most successful in the country. According to Gallup, the uninsured rate fell from 20.4 percent in 2013 before the law took effect down to 7.8

.. But hey, who needs Medicaid or subsidized health coverage if you’ve got a great job mining coal, where salaries are high and benefits are comprehensive? Trump repeated that promise, too — that once we get rid of some environmental regulations, all those coal jobs will come back:

.. In his particular corner of the business world, you really can create wealth just by managing public perception — or at least he could. This was the theory of his entire career

.. When he conned someone, like the attendees of Trump University, no matter how unhappy they were he could move on to other marks

.. It was a big world, and there were always other people who might be taken in by the next scam. But in politics, you have to go back to the people you made promises to the first time around, and ask them to put their faith in you again.

.. it’s obvious that Trump looks at his first legislative priority much like one of his buildings: What matters is that people think it’s the tallest one around, even if it isn’t. He doesn’t seem to know or care much about what’s in the GOP’s bill to repeal the ACA or what the effects would be. It’s just about getting a win one way or the other.

.. he met with congressional Republicans not to discuss the content of the bill, but to cajole and threaten them into voting for it. He told Mark Meadows, head of the far-right Freedom Caucus, to stand up while he told him, “I’m gonna come after you, but I know I won’t have to, because I know you’ll vote ‘yes.’ ” (Meadows says he’s still voting no.)

.. So what happens when Trump goes back to Kentucky in three years, and he has taken away voters’ health coverage but didn’t manage to bring back the coal jobs of yesteryear?