His critics have been blasting him as an out-of-control lunatic who is going to destroy the U.S. economy and throw the world into a major financial crisis, but President Donald Trump was proven right (once again) on Wednesday when he reached a deal with European Union Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker that will put the U.S. on better trade footing than it has been in years.
Meeting at the White House this week, Juncker and Trump hammered out a plan that would not only spare the EU from the 25% steel and aluminum tariffs the president has threatened to levy but would potentially open up a clean trade deal with “zero tariffs” on either side. That’s a huge victory for Trump’s unorthodox strategy and it should have his critics rethinking their positions.
Not that they actually will admit to being wrong.
“We have agreed today to work toward zero tariffs, zero tariff barriers and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods,” Trump said in the Rose Garden. “We will also work to reduce barriers and increase trade in services, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical products, as well as soybeans.”
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the deal was evidence that Trump’s strategy is working.
“If we hadn’t had steel and aluminum tariffs, we never would have gotten to the point we are now. This is a real vindication of the president’s trade policy,” said Ross.
In addition to avoiding a prolonged trade war with Europe, Trump gained concessions from Juncker that would see the EU increase their import of soybean and energy from the United States. This alone could offset the trouble American farmers have seen from the trade disputes thus far. Some critics have said that Trump is attempting to subsidize his own disaster by providing American farmers with $12 billion in relief, but this deal shows that there is a long-term strategy in place. Yes, some U.S. businesses are going to see stormy waters until this is all sorted out, but if Trump’s plan proves fruitful, it could all be worth it in the end.
And so far, from what we’ve seen, this billionaire we put in charge of the economy just happens to know exactly what he’s doing. Whether or not the traditionalists on Capitol Hill happen to like it…well, that doesn’t really matter.