On the eve of the high-stakes summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, one that he’s essentially gambled what’s left of his political capital on, President Trump is still in Mean Girls mode after his embarrassing performance at the G7 Meeting in Canada.
Trump made a fool of himself in front of our closest allies, showing up late to events, skipping meetings, and chastising the group for kicking Russia out of the club after their invasion of Ukraine and subsequent annexation of Crimea. He even withdrew his signature from the official communique, the joint statement at the end of the annual gathering that affirms what issues were discussed and what goals were set for the future.
Not happy with being portrayed as the petulant infant who took his toys and ran home, he launched an inexplicably unprovoked attack on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, both on Twitter and in interviews, essentially saying “He started it!”
He’s senior advisors, clearly cognizant of how juvenile Trump looks, went out in the media to parrot these fabricated attacks on Trudeau Sunday, hoping to at least give their boss’s hissy-fit some context, however transparently, and try to paint the Canadian Prime Minister as the instigator.
Why that matters one bit is beyond the comprehension of just about everyone outside of the president’s base. But Trump just can’t let it go. Now on the ground in Singapore for the all-or-nothing summit with Kim, he’s still feuding with Trudeau, determined as ever to save face and somehow justify his tirade.
Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal. According to a Canada release, they make almost 100 Billion Dollars in Trade with U.S. (guess they were bragging and got caught!). Minimum is 17B. Tax Dairy from us at 270%. Then Justin acts hurt when called out!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2018
“Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal,” his latest tweet begins. “According to a Canada release, they make almost 100 Billion Dollars in Trade with U.S. (guess they were bragging and got caught!). Minimum is 17B. Tax Dairy from us at 270%. Then Justin acts hurt when called out!”
The pettiness and condescension of publicly calling another head of state by his first name aside – and the futility of trying to make ‘Fool Trade’ happen – Trump’s tweet is utter nonsense. Trade balance sheets aren’t score cards. They don’t determine who’s winning or losing in a trade relationship. If one nation has a trade deficit with another, it’s not even a bad thing, necessarily.
Trump either doesn’t understand this basic economic principle, or doesn’t care. Either way his limited understanding of global trade – and his over sensitivity to anyone who challenges his authority or his own sense of grandeur and upstages him the way Trudeau did – continues to cast an embarrassing shadow over this presidency.