By Erin Corbett
June 2, 2018

“This President has no sense,” Jeffrey Sachs, economist and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University writes in a scathing op-ed for CNN, commenting on President Donald Trump’s “insane trade war.”

In the op-ed, titled Trump’s Insane Trade War, Sachs points to Trump’s policies, which he says are destroying “American global leadership, alliances, and interests.”

Last week, the Trump administration announced that it would impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% on aluminum, now targeting the European Union, Canada, and Mexico. The U.S. has also been in talks with China over closing a trade gap between the two countries. Both have threatened tariffs on billions of dollars in exports.

After returning from a trip to Europe — the latest target of Trump’s trade wars — Sachs writes, “there was not a single word of respect for [the president].” Trump’s trade policies aren’t “really policies,” according to Sachs. “Trade wars are on, off, on hold, on again, within the span of days. Summits are on, canceled, or maybe on. Foreign companies are sanctioned today and rescued the next.”

Even while people try to make sense of the president’s strategy, Sachs writes, there is none. Trump’s sanctions are illegal, according to Sachs, and are justified only under the guise of national security. The only explanation for the president’s recent actions on trade are that he’s “delusional,” according to Sachs, as Trump “speaks gibberish, insults those around him including his closest associates, and baffles the world.”

But, as people jump to question or find reason in the president’s actions on trade, Trump is not the first American leader to start trade wars with allies. As reported by Quartz, the president is joined by Nixon, Reagan, Hoover, and more recently, George W. Bush.

 

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