… is from Chad Bown’s April 21st, 2017, Washington Post essay, “Trump’s Threat of Steel Tariffs Heralds Big Changes in Trade Policy “:
Because there are no clearly accepted guidelines, the justification for use of the national security exception [to impose tariffs] is also difficult to refute. It can, therefore, be easily abused. New import restrictions arising under that area of US law really are akin to the “nuclear option” – their use really puts the entire system of international trade law at risk.
DBx: Trump, Trump’s trade advisors, and Trump’s base almost certainly applaud U.S. actions that threaten to undermine today’s global trading system. Trump & Co. applaud this outcome because they mistakenly believe that commerce is zero-sum and that Americans have been harmed rather than helped by the post-war (or at least by the post-Mao) expansion of global trade. And so (they conclude from their mistaken belief) with the global trading system upended, we mighty and magnificent and marvelous Americans will once again “win” at global trade.
The ignorance of Trump & Co. on trade and immigration is matched only by their complete lack of ethics in acting out their xenophobia.