For all the incompetent, offensive, evil, and outright criminal things that Donald Trump has done while in office, his failed trade war is the one that appears to have hurt him the most in terms of poll numbers and reelection prospects. Yet Trump keeps doubling down on the one thing that’s bringing him down. Now the clock is in danger of striking midnight on him – literally.
The stock market spent much of August plummeting because Donald Trump kept announcing more tariffs on Chinese goods, only for China to give him the finger, prompting Trump to then announce even more tariffs. The only reason the market rebounded a bit this past week was that Trump lied about having spoken with China on the phone about tamping down the trade war. But now Trump is facing a midnight deadline tonight for his latest round of announced tariffs – and if they go into effect, it’ll be immediately devastating for the U.S. economy.
Multiple major news outlets, and Donald Trump’s own indignant tweet this afternoon, are all pointing to Trump going ahead and letting the tariffs go into effect tonight. If he does, the stock market will likely crater when it reopens after the holiday weekend, which will help further the perception that the economy is collapsing, even before Trump’s newest tariffs can do their damage.
Donald Trump is a bluffer and a liar and he folds easily, so we’ll see if he comes up with some rationale over the next eight hours for canceling his new tariffs. If he does nothing, and these tariffs go into effect, the American economy will go off a cliff – and his 2020 prospects will go down the toilet. Trump seems more worried about having to admit he was wrong about tariffs, than about what the consequences to himself might be for doubling down on his mistake.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report