Donald Trump Is Talking Himself Into a Global Trade War on Twitter

Meanwhile, his economic advisors don’t know what’s going on.

This is Donald Trump's most likely response to an active shooter nearby: "Gunfire? No, I don't hear any gunfire."Jeff Malet/Newscom via ZUMA

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While officials inside the White House are still shocked at Donald Trump’s sudden public pivot toward trade wars with China and the European Union, the president isn’t letting up. Instead, he’s digging in, taking to Twitter to once again make threats directed at the EU.

“Our jobs and wealth are being given to other countries that have taken advantage of us for years,” Trump tweeted early Saturday afternoon. “They laugh at what fools our leaders have been. No more!”

He then threatened to increase taxes on European exports into the United States:

Saturday’s latest mini-tweetstorm comes a day after the president issued a series of similarly disconcerting messages, writing in part that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.”

Meanwhile, officials inside of the Treasury Department are scrambling to contain the fallout from Trump’s tweets, which in addition to being wrong, have also frightened investors and outraged US allies across the globe. One senior member of the president’s economic advisory team told Politico, “I don’t understand what we announced, I don’t know what the policy is.”

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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