Here’s part of what’s reported to be a taped telephone conversation late last year between then-Pres.-elect Trump and Wilbur Ross (who has just been confirmed – irony of ironies – as U.S. Secretary of Commerce!). I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the recording or the accuracy of the transcript, but it is reported here . (HT Bryan Riley) (To listen to the recording I’d have to download some program onto my computer; I don’t want to do that.)
TRUMP: [Inaudible] free trade bullshit—so they [the Japanese] are the most protected. That’s why they’re doing well!
ROSS: Of course. They have big barriers—
TRUMP: Let me ask you, would you ever [inaudible] a 10 percent—here’s something I’ve always said: Ten percent tariff or tax to do business in the United States. For everybody. China. Everybody. Straight across the board, 10 percent. Now, it’s not enough for anybody to say, “Oh, I’m never gonna go there.” Okay? But—and it’s not enough to cause inflation or all the bullshit. You know what it does to the deficit? You go from losing money to breaking even in, in one year. Immediately. When you do it.
TRUMP: And I don’t think anybody’s gonna stop trading because of that. What do you think of that?
Sounds like Trump, for it’s a regurgitated serving of deeply ignorant mercantilist nitwittery. The man is appallingly ignorant of economics, yet his fans continue to fancy him to be a singular genius.