Donald Trump Finally Makes His Stupid Tariff Announcement

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While I was at lunch Donald Trump finally made his big tariff announcement:

After a week of furious lobbying and a burst of last-minute internal debates and confusion, Mr. Trump agreed to exempt, for now, Canada and Mexico and held out the possibility of later excluding allies such as Australia….“The actions we are taking today are not a matter of choice; they are a matter of necessity for our security,” Mr. Trump said in a ceremony at the White House.

….Canada and Mexico would be exempt pending discussions with both countries….Mr. Trump indicated that the tariffs would go into effect on Canada and Mexico “if we don’t make the deal on Nafta and if we terminate Nafta because they are unable to make a deal that’s fair.” During a cabinet meeting earlier in the day, Mr. Trump singled out Australia as an example of another country that could be excluded, citing the trade surplus that the United States maintains with Australia, which imports more from America than it exports to the country.

Wait a second. First Trump says that these tariffs are being put in place as a national security measure. But then he says that Canada and Mexico will be exempt if they cave in on NAFTA, and Australia might be exempt because we have a trade surplus with them. So which is it? Are we doing this because the US needs a domestic steel industry to build F-35s and Ford-class aircraft carriers? Or do we actually have plenty of steel for that, and we’re doing this to punish countries that we have a trade deficit with? Inquiring minds want to know.

And since I know you want to stay current on your memes, here’s the latest one:

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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